Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Biography/Survey on Style-Prefixed Honorary Titles

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What This Is[edit]

This survey is intended to establish a policy on naming conventions for biographical entries in the Wikipedia. Presently, the policy is to begin articles on political and religious figures with their style of address, for instance:

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
Dear Leader Kim Jong-il

The question presented is whether the status quo represents a neutral point of view (NPOV) and/or whether it should be changed to a convention which refers to the formal style of address without using it at the start of the article.

Options[edit]

The following is a summary of the alternative options. For more details and discussions see the sections below.

  1. Yes. As a matter of Wikipedia policy, in all cases where a formal style is known it must be used to begin the biographical article.
  2. Yes, with exceptions. In certain cases of controversy, the formal style may be provided in the body of the article after the name is provided.
  3. No. The formal style of address should always be provided in the introductory paragraph of the article, but only after the name is provided, and not otherwise prefixed.
  4. No, but we should follow a different convention than that prescribed in Alternative 3.
  5. None of the above.

How You Participate[edit]

The alternatives listed below can be ranked according to preference. You are encouraged to respond under each alternative with your signature and timestamp (please use four tildes: ~~~~) giving your order of preference for that alternative, for example:

Alternative 1:

  • First choice, comments ~~~~

Alternative 2:

  • Third choice, comments ~~~~

Alternative 3:

  • Second choice, comments ~~~~

You do not have to rank more than one choice. If you wish to vote for only one or two, for instance, just respond under those headings with your ranking of those alternatives. Alternatives which you do not rank will automatically be given a lower ranking than those you ranked explicitly. If you do respond under multiple alternatives, and have no preference between two or more, you may rank them with the same preference. Unsigned votes will not be counted.

After May 14, 2005 (UTC), voting will be closed and the results counted using the Cloneproof Schwartz Sequential Dropping method to establish a consensus. If you do not understand what this means, please refer to the article itself and the more general article on Condorcet methods of vote counting. In a nutshell, these approaches seek to find the solution which has the least opposition, rather than the strongest plurality, therefore being the most acceptable alternative to the largest majority of the community by common consent.

An additional comment: Many people seem to overlook the meaning of option #5, none of the above, meaning this poll doesn't count. If your intention is to cast a vote that means this option or nothing i.e. first and only choice, you probably want to vote for your preferred option as your first choice and for none of the above as your second choice. Zocky 18:43, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

Question and Our Responses[edit]

Should biographical entries in the Wikipedia begin with a prefixed style of formal address?

Alternative 1[edit]

Yes. As a matter of Wikipedia policy, in all cases where a formal style is known it must be used to begin the biographical article. For instance:

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II...
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI...
Dear Leader Kim Jong-il...
  • Of course. Although I'm not sure that Kim Jong-il can properly be said to have a style in the same way as the Queen and the Pope. This is the quickest and simplest way of presenting the information that someone has a style. It draws least attention to it (as the alternative is a long sentence or paragraph describing a style - which is normally irrelevant to the biographical article). It is also what we are currently doing - a method that has built up over time, jguk 08:37, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
If this is your first choice, please state so in those terms. Whig 08:46, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
My comments are quite clear - stop trying to corral the vote.
My intention is only to clarify the vote, not corral it. I take the wording above to mean that Alternative 1 is jguk's First choice and his comments to the other alternatives (unless ranked explicitly) indicate no preference for any of them. This means he will be considered to have ranked them below the first alternative, but not in any preference to one another. Whig 23:17, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. Maurreen 08:47, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • First (and only) choice. Keep their formal styles, in particular those used by the press and foreign dignitaries (which therefore means that I do not think any random person who invents a style for himself deserves to get called by it on WP). — Asbestos | Talk 11:01, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • People are suggesting that my comments don't match my vote. I disagree. My definition of "formal style" is that in my comment above, and under this definition my comments agree with the vote. I don't believe that if Sollog were to start calling himself "his most bodacious mesiah" that would count as a formal style, as noone else would formally call him that. However, since I don't actually believe that a vote carried out in this manner will achieve anything, I'm not particularly fussed how my vote is interpreted... — Asbestos | Talk 11:51, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
    • I'm removing my vote, because I worry that if this wins people will take this as mandate that all manner of random people should have an arbitrary "style" in front of their name. This as policy will merely shift the focus of arguments on to whether any particular case counts as a formal style or not, and such arguments are not much better than the ones that we were having before (which didn't really exist until this pope nonsense). I believe that common sense should generally prevail, and that common sense ought not be bound by an ambiguous wiki-wide policy. At this momement, without my vote, options one and three appear to be perfectly tied. Without a significant influx of votes on one side or the other, I can't imagine that one side will really have the majority needed to make a real consensus, and without a consensus the idea of making this official wiki policy ought to scrapped. — Asbestos | Talk 15:34, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Fourth choice. Changed again. The arguments against have convinced me, and few other formal publications would refer to them in this way. This would be my bottom choice, were it not for the POV-magnet of option 2. — Asbestos | Talk 13:03, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First and only choice. Again, this is a non-optional, non-issue. The rest of the world does it, why shouldn't we?? Bratschetalk random 13:16, Apr 30, 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. Though I might think Kim Jong-il is a nut, that is the title he uses as the North Korean leader, and we have to show that. Zscout370 (talk) 14:50, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC) Ok, this is now my third choice. There are some people who deserve titles, and some that do not. This choice will have to blanket everyone with titles. Zscout370 (talk) 15:29, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. Jonathunder 15:00, 2005 Apr 30 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. Note that some votes like that of Asbestos and Jguk are not really for this option: a vote for this means that "any random person" does get a style. Instead, styles should be mentioned rather than used (Use-mention_distinction). Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 17:24, 2005 Apr 30 (UTC)
  • First choice . BTW the Kim one is wrong. He may use that, but the diplomatic world doesn't. We have got to use the official diplomatic one, not the 'makey-up' one of a dictator used by his supporters. FearÉIREANN 18:33, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It's not as if Kim Jong-il doesn't have diplomatic relations with China, and in any case, all styles are in some sense 'makey-up' -- the relevant issue is that a substantial number of people undoubtedly do use his formal style. Whig 09:01, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. Wikipedia does not, at this time, follow Formal Style, although I'm trying to change this.[1] Since we don't accord the respect of Formal Style to everyone, it should not be enforced solely for dignitaries.--ghost 22:59, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. Neutralitytalk 02:48, May 1, 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. These are style of address, and WP is not addressing anyone. Flyers13 00:27, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. Proteus (Talk) 21:35, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First. Evil MonkeyHello 00:08, May 2, 2005 (UTC)
  • First and only choice.-gadfium 00:17, 9 May 2005 (UTC).
  • First and only choice Let's make this one fixed rule, for everybody we like, dislike or don't care about, and end these debates. And I prefer this one, as it is polite and less likely to give offense as the only other reasonable choice, no use of formal style. -- AlexR 08:53, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First and only choice. Use the term that is used by the majority of the diplomatic world, and leave it at that. Whatever it is, please don't have this "discussion" all over again every week or two. KTC 09:03, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First and only choice. See AlexR. That and I don't actually understand the voting system. Smoddy (Rabbit and pork) 19:00, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First and only choice. DMTsurel 19:30, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
Those voting First and only choice should read below. Whig 20:33, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. ugen64 21:17, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First and only choice. Thue | talk 22:11, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Not just last choice, but I don't want this under any circumstances. Unless manuals of honorifics are published and distributed to every editor for all possible situations, this is impossible to do and to maintain. RickK 22:50, May 2, 2005 (UTC)
Every editor is not expected to know the style policy. Copy-editors who know the policy can enforce it by making appropriate changes to entries. This is going to be a large job if we have to do every US Senator, Representative, Governor, Mayor, Councilmembers, etc., where the honorifics are not typically prefixed at present, but we'll have to do so if this option wins. Whig 09:36, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. Arwel 01:45, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. Gentgeen 02:00, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. At least this would be consistent. — Trilobite (Talk) 02:07, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. thames 03:27, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. It's the simplest one. No one is actually going to get confused by this, I shouldn't imagine. People are intelligent enough to understand that we don't necessarily think that the Pope is holy or that Kim Jong-il is particularly near and dear to our hearts. Besides, it's concise. --User:Jenmoa 16:13, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
Second choice. The more I think about it, leaving the title, eg "Pope John Paul II" or "Queen Elizabeth II," seems more normal for an encyclopedia. Do we even need to mention the style "His Holiness" or "Her Majesty" or "Dear Leader" if there is a separate article on the office itself? --User:Jenmoa 01:37, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. GD 22:41, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. Smacks of POV, and will lead to issues with whether or not someone truly "qualifies" for the style in certain cases. Personally I think this goes against the spirit of Wikipedia. Not as bad as the terribly POV choice 2, but still awful. Titanium Dragon 09:48, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
Actually, this is my Fifth choice. Titanium Dragon 09:57, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
As I changed my mind, I should probably explain why. I thought about it and realized that despite the fact that choice 2 will cause tons of edit wars, it is better than this because in reality it will deny the title to most people. For instance, the Pope is a controversial figure, as is the Dalai lama, as is the president of the United States. As such, such people would not get their styles, and would instead have it mentioned. This will, in the end, be much like 3 for commonly visited pages. Option 1 will seem POV; no encyclopedia I've ever read does it the way that Wikipedia policy is currently claimed to be. I might add that a single editor actually CHANGED the Wikipedia policy on this; originally only honorifics were mentioned, but he added styles to the list in order to support himself on the JPII article so he could add His Holiness to the beginning of it. I don't like this, and don't like this "policy", and it smacks of POV. Many will see it as a justification of their viewpoint. As such, choice one is unacceptable to me. It looks terrible, too. Titanium Dragon 10:37, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
This is an absurd justification. The Pope may be controversial, but the fact that his style is "His Holiness" is not. As far as a single editor changing things, there was considerable discussion of this issue at various locations. john k 22:35, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
I dunno, I've heard him referred to as the Antichrist a great deal as well; they certainly would dispute his style of his holiness. Titanium Dragon 21:47, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First Choice john k 22:35, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First Choice. It doesn't hurt anyone, and this way keeps the verbosity to a minimum. —Brent Dax 23:53, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First Choice. Mackensen (talk) 00:06, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First and only choice. BLANKFAZE | (что??) 03:02, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Tied for last. Using styles in article titles is too lengthy, looks bad, and will be fraught with contention despite any concensus reached here. Additionally, the number of article moves (and subsequent angry un-moves) that would be caused by the transition to this option is not justified by the supposed advantage. The simplest and least-trouble-causing option is to put style information in the text instead. One-dimensional Tangent 05:19, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
The question does not pertain to the article title but to the text of the biographical entry itself. This survey seeks to establish whether there is a consensus for beginning biographical entries with a style of formal address, or whether such styles should be mentioned later in the body of the article in some or all cases. Whig 09:07, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for correcting me, Whig. I am changing my votes in light of this. Second choice. One-dimensional Tangent 21:13, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. This presumes that style means the style applied in diplomatic circumstances. Noisy | Talk 10:43, May 6, 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. -Hapsiainen 11:00, May 6, 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. My reasoning against styles and honorifics is here; it holds. Styles and honorifics are inherently biased. They are unnecessary. But if they are to be used at all, they must be used consistently. — Ford 20:58, 2005 May 6 (UTC)
  • First choice - however, this does not mean that Wikipedia should acknowledge as valid any titles which crackpots claim for themselves. If I start up a new group of lunatics who address me as Her Wonderfulness, I do not think that a Wikipedia article about me should begin with that title. FearEireann made a good point above about the distinction between a title used by the diplomatic world, and a title used by an individual and a few followers. Ann Heneghan 21:51, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. Dogmatically imposes a convention that contradicts established writing styles. Undermines the credibility of Wikipedia, and is likely to provoke more edit wars. BTfromLA 00:00, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. Even if we're wrong, it's better that we're consistently wrong than to allow further edit wars over who is controversial. Zocky 16:26, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choiceGeni 12:42, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. James F. (talk) 12:32, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. TreyHarris 20:57, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. patsw 21:27, 8 May 2005 (UTC) It's just Wiki-silliness/Wiki-anarchy to treat honorifics in a way other than the non-Wiki world does.
Excuse me for butting in, patsw, but isn't that exactly what you're endorsing? Far as I can tell, zero English-language encyclopedias, academic presses or reputable news journals follow the guideline you've voted for. I simply can't understand how folks are claiming that this is the way "the non-Wiki world" handles this. The exact opposite appears to be true. BTfromLA 01:32, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
There may be some confusion in that this option requires the prefixed style, not just the honorific. Under every alternative we would continue to use the honorific of Queen. The style of Her Majesty would also be required to be prefixed according to this alternative (and according to the current Wikipedia:Manual of Style (biographies)). Whig 04:51, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. JYolkowski // talk 01:41, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. "Styles" and "honorifics" associated with an office or position should generally only be mentioned in articles about the office or position. Paul August 02:59, May 10, 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. Use all formal, i.e. diplomatically used, styles. Str1977 09:27, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. Trödel|talk 15:04, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth Choice. violet/riga (t) 16:34, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • '4th BrokenSegue 22:24, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Last choice. I have not seen a single encyclopedia that starts an article on the pope with "his holyness" and it doesn't seem very nuetral to say that it MUST be that way in wikipedia. CDThieme
  • 1st choiceDan | Talk 22:50, 10 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Ninety-third choice. I don't consider this vote to be valid: it's too complicated. --Carnildo 20:02, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice Though I attach the condition that I agree with FearÉIREANN...when I say all styles, I mean all styles generally recognized by the press and international diplomatic corps. This does not include "Dear Leader". --MikeJ9919 23:01, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Against. Or, if you prefer: not a choice I like at all. I'm partly with Carnildo (a few lines above) on this -- the ranking system is too complex. That aside, WP is not a howto manual; why should it make an exception for letter-writing to the nobs? And even if it were (or so far as it is) a howto manual, diplomats will know this stuff anyway and won't have to be told; few non-diplomats will care; most writing and conversation gets on very well without this stuff (indeed, much better, as it's uninformative filler at best, grovelling verbal flatus at worst). I've no particular objection to provision of this so-called information somewhere within the article to benefit trivia-hounds and those few other people who want it, considerable objection to any rule by which its conspicuous provision is compelled. -- Hoary 06:50, 2005 May 13 (UTC) PS for clarity: fifth choice. -- Hoary 05:08, 2005 May 14 (UTC)
  • First choice where the style has international validity - the "diplomatic" test is key here, making the style's use (not just its inclusion) an objective matter. (Unclear whether this criterion counts as an exception, as in Option 2, or merely a clarification; reading the comments, I think there's a fair bit of confusion on this. Also have to say I am completely baffled by the voting system - what's wrong with single transferable vote?) Vilcxjo 11:25, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
    I have to admit I don't understand how the "diplomatic test" will change anything. Whose diplomacy? Where internationally? Any given country or a set of countries? UN? What do we do with styles in countries that ara not in the UN? Zocky 13:55, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
    The implication of your question is that different bodies of diplomats might adopt quite different standards. It would probably require an experienced diplomat to comment authoritatively, but I'd be surprised if (for example) a government writing to the Queen but failing to use her style would be left in any doubt (no matter how subtly it was conveyed!) that they had failed to follow proper form. However, none of this is intended to elevate diplomats as such to being the ultimate arbiters of the matter; rather it is to suggest that (in the vast majority of cases, even of quite controversial figures) there is an established mode of address which it is improper (and POV) deliberately to omit. Vilcxjo 16:02, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice Maltaran 18:46, May 13, 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. JRM · Talk 19:57, 2005 May 13 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. JamesMLane 06:55, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Alternative 2[edit]

Yes, with exceptions. In certain cases of controversy, the formal style may be provided in the body of the article after the name is provided, for instance:

Kim Jong-il, formally addressed by the North Korean people as Dear Leader...

If you choose this alternative, please specify the rule or convention by which you believe exceptions should be carved out; should formal styles be mandatorily prefixed in some biographical articles, optionally in some cases, improperly in others?

  • This is a non-option. Someone either has a formal style or not. There is no possible controversy here - it is just a case of looking for and supplying reliable sources as to whether someone does or does not have a formal style (in the way that the Queen and Pope do). Because of our (unwritten) policy that disputed info must be backed up by a source to be included in an article - alternative 1 already achieves what is sought here, jguk 08:37, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Unless you specify otherwise, your statement above will be taken as "no preference" for Alternative 2. Whig 08:49, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
My comments are quite clear - stop trying to corral the vote.
  • Second Choice Though I voted for the first option, if people are truely offended with the title, or with a situation like that of Kim Jong-il, then this will be a better option. Zscout370 (talk) 14:53, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. Jonathunder 14:59, 2005 Apr 30 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. Incidentally, per Zscout, I am "truly offended" by the use of the style "His Holiness" in reference to a Catholic Pope. Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 17:26, 2005 Apr 30 (UTC)
  • Third choice. BTW you may be offended, but that is a POV and wikipedia doesn't do POVs. The issue is - is that their style? Whether some people like it or not is irrelevant. FearÉIREANN 18:34, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • With the Pope, he is address by most Catholics and national leaders as the Holy Father. As Jtdirl pointed out, only the North Korean people call Kim Jong-il Dear Leader. So if people do not like the first option, then that is why this is my second choice. As long as the style in included in the article, perhaps in the first few lines, I will be happy. Zscout370 (talk) 21:55, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. I don't like this option unless someone can come up with a NPOV way of carving out the exceptions, but I prefer it to having to use the prefixed-style in all cases even in extreme cases. Whig 21:30, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
First choice. I believe this can work with the Compromise Proposal submitted below. Whig 04:50, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
Third choice. The compromise proposal doesn't seem to work very well from the comments that it's received, maybe it can be improved but unless someone can come up with a better wording, my vote is changed again. Whig 03:31, 10 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. This is an attempt at political correctness. Although well intentioned, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions..."--ghost 23:01, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. An appalling POV nightmare. Either do it for everyone or for no one, whether popes or KKK Grand Imperial Wizards. Flyers13 00:29, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. Neutralitytalk 02:48, May 1, 2005 (UTC)
  • 'Fourth choice'. RickK 22:51, May 2, 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. Arwel 01:45, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. The method that should be used to determine what, if any, style is used would be: "What would a neutral, yet respectful, english speaker use if addressing a letter to the person in question." Gentgeen 02:00, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. A recipe for POV disaster. We will end up with dictators and others we don't like or don't take seriously deprived of their styles, while non-controversial leaders are allowed theirs. — Trilobite (Talk) 02:07, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. thames 03:29, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • 'Fifth choice. There is no way this could work, we would need a new survey with every article to determine if there is sufficient "controversy" to only mention the title. Use it or mention it, but do one or the other in all cases. --User:Jenmoa 16:13, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. Whatever is decided, I think we need consistency. GD 22:41, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. A recipe for edit wars and POV; it is inconsistant and very troublesome. Honestly, this is even worse than choice one. Titanium Dragon 09:47, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
Actually, this would be my fourth choice; I would imagine from the controversy surrounding most prominent figures that this would actually be a lot more like 3 than 1. I can't really think of anyone important who isn't controversial; for instance, the Pope is controversial. This would probably result in the least offense, because only very inoffensive people would actually have styles. This will surely result in edit wars, but I prefer it over method 1 simply because I find alternative 1 totally unacceptable. Titanium Dragon 09:59, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
By the way, I see the Pope as being a controversial figure, and thus he would be denied his style under this vote - I can site dozens if not hundreds of people who call him controversial. Thus this option is far superior to option 1, because only obscure people would have styles prefacing their articles, as most people are controversial if they are important enough to have styles. Only the unknown or the totally inoffensive would get their styles in this case; others would be as if in alternative 3. Slightly inconsistant, but I think better for the NPOV appearance of Wikipedia, as no encylclopedia I have read prefaces names with styles. Titanium Dragon 10:39, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
Pope Benedict XVI, like most political leaders, has said and done many controversial things. That he is pope is entirely uncontroversial. john k 03:20, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
Untrue; there are people who dispute it. And it is not as if it is disputed that Kim Jong-il is in charge of North Korea; in fact, there are likely fewer people who would say Kim Jong-il is not leader of North Korea than who will say Benedict XVI is not the Pope. Given the example of Kim Jong-il, I see the Pope's style as being at least as controversial. Titanium Dragon 21:51, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. Will lead to edit wars. —Brent Dax 23:53, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. RSpeer 17:57, May 5, 2005 (UTC)
  • Tied for last. For all the same reasons as I gave for option 1, plus the additional problem of people arguing over whether Kim Jong-il, etc, are among the exceptions. One-dimensional Tangent 05:22, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. This is indeed a non-option. Noisy | Talk 10:44, May 6, 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. -Hapsiainen 11:02, May 6, 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. The worst of all possible options, allowing the worshipful to avoid the harshest effects of their own bias. If they insist upon forcing the use of honorifics and styles on the encyclopedia, these editors should have it forced on them in return. There should be no easy option. Using styles makes the encyclopedia ridiculous, truly; but using styles consistently, as in alternative 1, makes it obviously ridiculous to everyone, which is what proponents of styles are most afraid of. — Ford 21:09, 2005 May 6 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. Ford has a good point, but among the ridiculous options, I'll grant this one the edge. BTfromLA 23:54, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. Anything, even something silly like "include styles for persons whose name begins with letters A-M", would be better than this. This option would both guarantee continued verbal worship of people "we" like and allow for glaringly POV discrimination of those "we" don't like or are ambivalent about. Not to mention the inevitable edit wars over who is controversial. Zocky 16:32, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. – ugen64 02:20, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. Proteus (Talk) 11:41, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. Smoddy (Rabbit and pork) 13:10, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. James F. (talk) 13:59, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. Thanks to Jtdirl for explaining the system. Bratschetalk random 15:44, May 8, 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. As per the users immediately above, jguk 15:56, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. TreyHarris 20:57, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. patsw 21:27, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. The exceptions should be cases where a person claims to hold a position which would give him/her a particular title, but the diplomatic world does not accept that he/she holds that position. So, for example, the world in general recognizes that Benedict XVI is the Pope, successor to John Paul II. That gives him the title "His Holiness", whether or not the world believes that he is holy or that the pope is head of the Church which Christ founded. Therefore, he should have that title. The world in general recognizes Camilla Parker Bowles as the wife of Prince Charles. I don't: I believe she's the wife of Andrew Parker Bowles. Nevertheless, she is officially the prince's wife, so she should have the style "Her Royal Highness". A person who claims to be a descendent of Bonnie Prince Charlie or of the Princes in the Tower should not be given the title "His Majesty". If some woman claims that Prince Charles secretly married her, then she should not be given the title "Her Royal Highness". A few people follow the antipopes Peter II or Pius XIII. Those antipopes should not be given the titles "His Holiness". They could, perhaps, be given them if they claimed to be the Heads of new Churches and gained sufficient followers, but one claims to be a successor (after Gregory XVII) of Paul VI, and another claims to be a successor of Pius XII. They are not recognized as such by the world in general. The Archbishop of Canturbury should be given the title proper to that office. Nobody doubts he's the Archbishop of Canterbury. It doesn't really matter in that context whether or not we believe he's the head of the true Church. Ann Heneghan 22:22, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second.-gadfium 00:17, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. As per Jtdirl's and Ann Heneghan's comments. JYolkowski // talk 01:46, 9 May 2005 (UTC) Oh, and I'd also be willing to allow for exceptions for people of of local notability. JYolkowski // talk 01:51, 10 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. "Styles" and "honorifics" associated with an office or position should generally only be mentioned in articles about the office or position. Paul August 02:59, May 10, 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. Ann's comments are right on, although it seems to me that the first option ought to accommodate such objections. john k 03:14, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. I too completely agree with Ann. In contrast to John, I don't put the option 1 first, because some keep on insisting that it means to include any style/honorofic whatsoever, regardless of whether it actually is a style and how widely it is accepted. My rule of in-/exclusion would be: stick to diplomatic and related usage, respect whether someone only claims to hold an office which goes with a certain style (see Ann on Pulvermacher), and maybe (just maybe, that's a matter of convenience) restrict it to a certain level of prominence, i.e. not including every county judge etc. Str1977 09:22, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. Trödel|talk 15:14, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth Choice. violet/riga (t) 16:34, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • 5th BrokenSegue 22:22, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth Choice. CDThieme
  • Second Choice. DMTsurel 15:05, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Three milliard, seven hundred ninety-one million, six hundred seventeen thousand, eight hundred twenty-ninth choice. This vote is too confusing, and should be invalidated. --Carnildo 20:02, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice...though I'm beginning to agree with Carnildo. --MikeJ9919 23:04, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. POV magnet. — Asbestos | Talk 13:03, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice, as per comments above by Ann Heneghan.Vilcxjo 11:30, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice Maltaran 18:45, May 13, 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. JRM · Talk 19:59, 2005 May 13 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. It would produce arguments about how a particular case should be treated, but it would let us make at least some exceptions from the ill-advised directive of Alternative #1. For example, if Sollog were to advise us that his honorific, as conferred by the Temple of Hayah, is "His Supreme Omniscience and Scourge of the Wikipedian Pornographers", we wouldn't be required to begin the article that way. JamesMLane 06:49, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Alternative 3[edit]

No. The formal style of address should always be provided in the introductory paragraph of the article, but only after the name is provided, and not otherwise prefixed. For instance:

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, formally addressed as Her Majesty, is...
Pope Benedict XVI, formally addressed as His Holiness, is ...
Kim Jong-il, formally addressed by the North Korean people as Dear Leader, is...
  • This is nonsense. Why say "Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, formally addressed as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom..." when we can just say the much shorter "Her Majesty Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom...". This option (I can't bring myself to say "alternative" 3 as you can't have more than 2 alternatives) will just make articles look naff. Also, it's a wholly artificial construct, jguk 08:37, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Unless you specify otherwise, your statement above will be taken as "no preference" for Alternative 3. Whig 08:49, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
My comments are quite clear, stop trying to corral the vote. jguk


  • Second choice. Maurreen 08:46, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. Jonathunder 14:46, 2005 Apr 30 (UTC)
  • Second choice. (updated ranking) While I am not too unhappy with this form, I am convinced by several other voters that putting the style later in the article would be better and more standard for encyclopedias. (not that it will matter under Condorcet voting) Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 01:53, 2005 May 7 (UTC)
    • What are you talking about? I've never seen this style adopted in any printed encyclopaedia or any news source (respected or otherwise), jguk 17:42, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
You're right; most encylcopedias don't include styles at all! But it does make it more complete. Titanium Dragon 10:42, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
  • A reluctant second choice. It is also wrong to say people are addressed that way. There are a number of methods of address in different contexts (Her Majesty, Your Majesty, Ma'am, Your Holiness, His Holiness, Holy Father, Most Holy Father, etc). The correct term is styled, because it is an official formal style (ie, His Holiness, Her Majesty, His Excellency, the Right Honourable, etc), not an address that we are talking about. It is an important difference. FearÉIREANN 18:39, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC) Changed my mind. Now Fifth choice. FearÉIREANNFlag of Ireland.svg\(talk) 03:09, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. The examples given should not be taken as formulas that must be followed precisely, so long as the formal style is provided in the introductory paragraph as prescribed. So the comment by FearÉIREANN above that we should use the precise term styled does not require a different convention than this one. Whig 21:05, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Second choice. Whig 05:00, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
I'm persuaded that this option seems too prescriptive and it may be better to consider some other convention, like providing the style with the office rather than in the biographical article itself. Whig 03:35, 10 May 2005 (UTC)
I'd rather compromise for Alternative 3 than support an indeterminate outcome. Whig 20:38, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Fair point, Whig. My reluctant vote was reluctant for different reasons but it sets my mind a bit that we will be careful to use correct terminology in practice. (Thanks, BTW for all your hard work, Whig.) FearÉIREANN 21:10, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. Neutralitytalk 22:50, Apr 30, 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. See above.--ghost 22:54, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. Don't waste intro paragraph space on a relatively minor point. Flyers13 00:31, 1 May 2005 (UTC) First choice. Flyers13 01:16, 10 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice -- note, in particular, that a person's style may change throughout their life. -- Karada 12:56, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice -- Jonik 15:04, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice -- Zscout370 (talk) 03:01, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. Evil MonkeyHello 02:45, May 2, 2005 (UTC)
  • First and only choice. It is (mildly) POV to use styles such as "His Holiness" instead of mentioning them. However, should their use prevail, I think they should at least be italicized to make it absolutely clear that they are styles, not descriptions by Wikipedia.--Eloquence* 16:31, May 2, 2005 (UTC)
  • First and only choice -- These prefixes smack of elitism. But they are a part of describing what some people (e.g., their subjects) call these elites. Therefore, the prefixes should be mentioned, but after the core name of the individuals. Somebody above talked about this being "Americo-centrism", but it's really about precision. Most people around the world will not call Queen Elizabeth II "Her Majesty", and shouldn't have to, as most of us are not her subjects. It is just plain wrong to grant these elites a prefix to suggest that everyone on Earth should refer to them in that way. It's wrong and these elites don't deserve it. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Work 17:58, May 2, 2005 (UTC)
Those voting First and only choice should read below. Whig 20:35, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. RickK 22:52, May 2, 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. Gentgeen 02:00, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Fifth choice. Gentgeen 01:39, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. This is good NPOV. — Trilobite (Talk) 02:07, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. thames 03:29, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. More wordy than it needs to be, but not so bad. So long as we have a set policy. --User:Jenmoa 16:13, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
First choice. --User:Jenmoa 01:40, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. GD 22:41, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. Simple, consistant, and does not smack of POV. Is also far more encylopaedic. I like this the most. Titanium Dragon 09:49, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
Is now my Second choice; not all articles should require the inclusion of a note on style at all, but this is preferable to options 1 and 2 by a long shot. Titanium Dragon 00:37, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. CDThieme
  • First choice. This is better because I think it's ridiculous that EVERYONE have their style at the beginning of an article. Here in New York, at a formal gathering, our local legislators are introduced as "The honorable..." but that would look ridiculous in an article.Morris 11:47, May 4, 2005 (UTC)
    • Option 1 wouldn't mean that as they are not the type of styles that is being spoken about. Similarly, despite what Whig has put, we would not say The Honorable Governor Jeb Bush, but just Governor Jeb Bush - nor would we start a Wikipedia article on a British Law Lord "The Noble and Learned Lord...". Generally speaking the US does not have honorifics (I think there may even be a law against recognising such styles) - so Option 1 would have very little impact on articles on US citizens. It is only those people which really do have formal styles that would have them, jguk 12:11, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
It is true few Americans have HONORIFICS. However, due to the way YOU unilaterally changed things, we now (hopefully temporarily) include STYLES as well. Judges in the US are formally addressed as "Your honor". Maybe you don't understand the difference between an honorific (such as Sir) and a Style (manner of address)? "His holiness" and "Honorable" are both styles, not honorifics, and both would have to be put in, before their names, if option 1 was put in place. He understands it better than you do, it would seem. Titanium Dragon 12:16, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
I think it's clear what sort of styles are being talked about. Also there is considerable overlap between "honorific" styles and styles! jguk 12:40, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
Currently people are fighting back and forth about making "The honorable" the first words of the Hillary Clinton article. It is true, she is introduced that way, but it sounds silly, and I've never heard her called that, except to introduce her formally. There is no definative rule on the matter, but I would not put "The honorable" in the same category as "Her royal highness". Morris 02:02, May 5, 2005 (UTC)
Both Hillary Clinton and Tony Blair are political office holders. Therefore, if it is improper to style Hillary Clinton as The Honorable then it is equally improper to style Tony Blair as The Right Honorable. Please see my Compromise Proposal below, as it may be a solution to the current deadlock. Whig 03:06, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choiceThird choice Would still be messy and inconsistent, but at least it's not openly POV like what we have now. Zocky 12:05, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. Viajero 15:00, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. --Quasipalm 17:55, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. —Brent Dax 23:53, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third First and only choice. Tracking the correct terms of address for all the various offices and nobility would be a nightmare. Honorific titles that apply to officeholders would have to be added and deleted from hundred of entries every years as elections and appoinments change the titles. (for example, all members of the U.S. Congress, all governors, all state representatives, etc, are due the honorific title of The Honorable). Most honorifics only apply to living persons, requiring yet more maintenance. Better to have none. More encyclopedic too. Other encyclopedias do not use the titles at all. In the case of Queen Elizabeth II the discussion of the honorifics that apply should go into a general article like "English monarchy", since they would be the same for any king or queen. -Willmcw 14:33, May 5, 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. RSpeer
  • First and only BrokenSegue 04:01, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third. A bit rigid, but at least it keeps the style out of the title. One-dimensional Tangent 05:25, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
First choice. One-dimensional Tangent 21:13, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. Clumsy in the extreme. Noisy | Talk 10:57, May 6, 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. -Hapsiainen 11:05, May 6, 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. The main problem with this alternative is that it requires the insertion of unimportant information. But certainly it is better to describe the styles than actually to use them, which is what alternatives 1 and 2 require. Also, as pointed out, the wording should have said ‘styled’, not ‘addressed’.— Ford 20:47, 2005 May 6 (UTC)
  • Second choice. Again, I agree with Ford--the requirement to include styles of address at all is unacceptable, but this is second best in a field of poor candidates. BTfromLA 23:51, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. I concur with the above: this is the second best of a bad bunch. I should point out that this alternative seems to imply that the honourific is attached to the person rather than the office. Mentioning that Queen Elizabeth II is referred to as "Her majesty" should be including in Queen (article) but not in the article on her. I should also point out that I agree with Noisy, this proposal is hideously clumsy. Rje 01:02, May 7, 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. This is absurd. – ugen64 02:19, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. Agree with ugen64. Proteus (Talk) 11:41, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. If I have to play the system, I shall. Smoddy (Rabbit and pork) 13:10, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. James F. (talk) 13:59, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. Bratschetalk random 15:45, May 8, 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. As per the users immediately above, jguk 15:56, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. TreyHarris 20:57, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. patsw 21:27, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. Ann Heneghan 22:35, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth-gadfium 00:17, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. JYolkowski // talk 01:50, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. Changed to Third choice. "Styles" and "honorifics" associated with an office or position should generally only be mentioned in articles about the office or position. Paul August 02:59, May 10, 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. - but only if as given above, no factually untrue disclaimers like >>Benedict XVI is addressed by Catholics as "His Holines".<< Str1977 09:30, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
In any article, statements always ought to be edited as necessary to conform with what can be cited as factual or disputed. Whig 09:34, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
The above vote was made by a user who was not logged in, and may be forged. It will not be counted unless authenticated. Whig 12:36, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth Choice. Mackensen (talk) 00:20, 10 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First Choice. There is a huge mess of honorary titles. Do we really need to put esq after every person with a law degree? --Delirium 07:53, May 10, 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth Choice. DMTsurel 15:07, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Seventeenth choice. I don't consider this vote to be valid. It's too confusing. --Carnildo 20:02, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. Alternative 4 seems like a way to go. But, this seems like an alright compromise. --Dejan Cabrilo 23:02, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. I've come around, especially after noting that few if any other encyclopedias would do this. However, alternative 5, whereby no official policy is set, is prefered over this, and I don't like it being official policy that the style must be mentioned in the introductory paragraph. — Asbestos | Talk 13:03, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice Vilcxjo 11:33, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. JRM · Talk 19:56, 2005 May 13 (UTC)
  • Second choice. JamesMLane 06:29, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. Sometimes prefix-use is NPoV, sometimes it's PoV — this compromise might help to avert a good deal of edit-warring. If I thought that such prefixes were important, perhaps I'd vote differently, but I don't. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 21:58, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Alternative 4[edit]

No, but we should follow a different convention than that prescribed in Alternative 3. Please specify the convention you prefer and explain why you think it is preferable.

  • First choice. Maurreen 08:39, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC) Articles should probably include the formal style, but that need not be mandated. It shouldn't be used in front of the name, but anywhere is OK.
  • Second choice would be exactly what Maurreen proposes above. Jonathunder 14:48, 2005 Apr 30 (UTC)
  • I can't see how this "alternative" will help. Option 1 is the quickest, simplest and easiest way, and has the benefit of being the one we currently use, jguk 08:37, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Unless you specify otherwise, your statement above will be taken as "no preference" for Alternative 4. Whig 08:50, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
My comments are quite clear, stop trying to corral the vote.
Whig's not corraling anyone. If you choose not to vote, it's your loss. But then don't whine if you lose.--ghost 23:07, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. In agreement with Maurreen also. The use of style might be treated as an "interesting fact" in a biographical entry. Probably mentioned in the initial paragraph (after the first sentence), but not automatically. Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 01:49, 2005 May 7 (UTC) (updated ranking)
  • Fifth choce. Unworkable, illogical and impractical in an encyclopaedia. FearÉIREANN 18:42, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure I see how a different convention than Alternative 3 (such as including the style in the body of the article possibly other than in the introductory paragraph) is necessarily unworkable, illogical and impractical. Whig 08:55, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. This option would allow the formal style to be given elsewhere in the article than the introductory paragraph, for instance. Whig 21:07, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
First choice. I think Zocky makes a good point below. Whig 03:37, 10 May 2005 (UTC)
While it's a good point, but I'd rather not prefer an indeterminate outcome. Whig 20:40, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. I can't think of a better option.--ghost 23:07, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Just to clarify, Fifth choice means you think that this is your least preferred alternative. Your statement above that you "can't think of a better option" suggested that some clarification might be necessary. Whig 11:19, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. Include it, but bury it in the text somewhere as appropriate to the individual case. Flyers13 00:32, 1 May 2005 (UTC) Second choice. Flyers13 01:18, 10 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. Concur with Maurreen and Flyers13. Neutralitytalk 02:49, May 1, 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice -- Jonik 15:07, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice -- Zscout370 (talk) 15:32, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. If you need to worry about the honorifics, make a separate section or paragraph about it. RickK 22:52, May 2, 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. Gentgeen 02:00, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Fourth choice. Gentgeen 01:40, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. Mention it somewhere but with less prominence than in Alternative 3. — Trilobite (Talk) 02:07, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. thames 03:30, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. I prefer option 1, but as I've said, pick SOME set choice. --User:Jenmoa 16:13, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. GD 22:41, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice; as someone else stated above, this allows it to be mentioned elsewhere in the article, not necessarily always in the introduction. I think that choice 3 is better than this, but eh, this is quite fine by me. Just don't preface the name with the style. This option is probably the most NPOV and allows the most latitude in including information such as on style; it isn't always worth including. Titanium Dragon 09:52, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
I.E: I agree with Maureen and/or Ford's interpretation. Titanium Dragon 10:10, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
This is now my First choice. Titanium Dragon 00:50, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice: Biographical articles should by default NOT include styles, as these are normally tied to a person's office, position or award, not the person as such (e.g. Tony Blair was NOT born Right Honorable). Except in exceptional cases, styles should be described in the articles about offices, positions and awards that they are used for. Zocky 12:05, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. I think the correct rule is really "would be called by the majority of people", or something similar. I do worry about edit-warring, though. —Brent Dax 23:53, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. Styles are disallowed in article titles, but may be placed in article text as editors see fit (subject to the normal NPOV and dispute-resolution processes). Simple, NPOV, and flexible. One-dimensional Tangent 05:28, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. My alternative to option 1 would be to have a separate paragraph called Style of address which would indicate the diplomatic, past and informal ways of addressing the person, and why each applies. Noisy | Talk 10:55, May 6, 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. The honorary titles should be in a special section later in the article, or they should be in the article about that post, award etc -Hapsiainen 11:08, May 6, 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. Articles may describe the honorific or style, but must not employ the honorific or style, must not be required to describe it, and preferably would not describe it at all. It is generally trivial information added by sycophants. — Ford 20:40, 2005 May 6 (UTC)
  • First choice. I endorse the interpretations of Zocky and Ford, above. BTfromLA 23:47, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First and only real choice. Such titles tend to be transitory and non-permanent, tied to a job, office etc. rather than the person themselves. Also such honourifics have the potential to be POV and controversial. If they are important they should be mentioned in the article, but they should not be attached to the name directly. Rje 00:56, May 7, 2005 (UTC)
Note that Rje does vote a second choice, despite calling this "first and only"; I believe from side correspondence that it is his intention to rank two, but simply to emphasize the strength of the first choice ranking. Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 15:56, 2005 May 7 (UTC)
Then he should probably list #5 (none of the above) as his second choice and his current second choice as third. Zocky 18:36, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
As unsatisfactory as I find most of these options I feel that alternative #5 is merely sweeping the problem under the carpet, I think that that option would merely result in the issue cropping up again in a couple of months. I changed my vote on this alternative to "first and only real choice" in the hope of avoiding further confusion. Rje 23:27, May 7, 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. – ugen64 02:20, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. Proteus (Talk) 11:41, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. Smoddy (Rabbit and pork) 13:10, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. James F. (talk) 13:59, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. Bratschetalk random 15:46, May 8, 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. As per the users immediately above, jguk 15:56, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. TreyHarris 20:57, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. patsw 21:27, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. Ann Heneghan 22:36, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth-gadfium 00:17, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. JYolkowski // talk 01:51, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. I agree with Maurreen's alternative. Paul August 02:35, May 9, 2005 (UTC) Having thought more about this I'm now persuaded that "styles" and "honorifics" associated with an office or position should generally only be mentioned in articles about the office or position. Paul August 02:59, May 10, 2005 (UTC)
  • First Choice. violet/riga (t) 16:34, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. CDThieme
  • First choice. houshuang (t) 1:59, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
The above vote was made by a user who was not logged in, and may be forged. It will not be counted unless authenticated. Whig 12:36, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. Styles and honorifics should by preference go into the articles about the offices rather than persons. If there's only an article about the person than the styles and honorifics should be treated in a NPOV manner by mentioning them later in the article. -Willmcw 23:38, May 9, 2005 (UTC)
  • Two hundred sixty-second choice. I don't consider this vote to be valid, as it makes it too hard to figure out the winner. --Carnildo 20:02, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. I think I'd rather have nothing or a note somewhere towards the bottom than awkward statements in the first paragraph of the article. john k 22:10, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice, it won't hurt to mention the style in a section about that person's current office, but I wouldn't expose it much more. Dejan Cabrilo 23:00, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. Agree with Cabrilo above. — Asbestos | Talk 13:03, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice Vilcxjo 11:35, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. The whole style should be mentioned at the start of the article, with the actual article title in bold. For example: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. This would be consistent with not including honorifics like Sir in the title, compare: Rt Hon Sir Edward Braddon PC KCMG. The title should be as simple as possible. --bainer 05:27, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. Don't put them before the name, but there's some room for case-by-case decisions in whether to put them in the lead section. Some title not in general use, like an absurdly laudatory title for a leader of a minor religion or political movement, might not be important enough to be mentioned in the lead section. Some extremely fringe-y honorifics might not be worth including in the article at all. JamesMLane 06:32, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. Do not employ these styles, as to do so is to be unusually and unnecessarily obsequious, to no informative end. Such etiquette trivia may be worth a passing mention somewhere, I suppose: if the interested minority can't be expected to go off and buy Fantasized Social Climbing for Dummies, then how about chucking it all into an article on Prefixed honorary titles? Such an article might have a certain bizarre fascination. Or, if WP must supply this info for each office, then stick it somewhere inconspicuously far down the article on that office, and not near the top of the article on the chauffeured personage who happens to occupy the office at any given time. -- Hoary 14:39, 2005 May 14 (UTC)
  • Second choice. I'd go for Maurreen's approach. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:03, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Alternative 5[edit]

None of the above. You may rank this choice first or after any alternatives that you find acceptable. If this alternative wins over all others, the survey results should be set aside and the question should be given further discussion or ultimately archived.

  • Oh great - anarchy! jguk 08:37, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Unless you specify otherwise, your statement above will be taken as "no preference" for Alternative 5. Whig 08:50, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
My comments are quite clear, stop trying to corral the vote.
Whig's not corraling anyone. If you choose not to vote, it's your loss. But then don't whine if you lose.--ghost 23:08, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This option means "this vote doesn't count", not "anarchy". Zocky 13:56, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

  • Third choice. Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 17:35, 2005 Apr 30 (UTC)
  • A deeply reluctant fourth choice, only because one if even worse. FearÉIREANN 18:43, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. While I think it would be a shame if this alternative wins, I consider the use of prefixed-style to be POV in at least some cases, and if used with exceptions subject to endless disputes over when it is and is not, therefore those options are undesirable to me. Whig 21:12, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Fourth choice. If exceptions are clearly made with an unambiguous NPOV method (see Compromise Proposal below), I prefer that to setting aside the survey. Whig 04:57, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth Choice. If we must choose between offending one group vs. another, this option will offend all equally.--ghost 23:04, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • How about this: if this option is picked, then should the different pages decide this issue for themselves? Zscout370 (talk) 22:04, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC) This is my third choice, and if this is chosen, I will see what I can think up. Zscout370 (talk) 01:58, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. Meh. Just for voting completeness. Flyers13 00:32, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. If this option wins, we could consider removing mention of these styles from the conventions. Maurreen 07:50, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice -- Karada 12:57, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth Choice. Jonathunder 22:01, 2005 May 1 (UTC)
  • Fourth Choice. Evil MonkeyHello 02:45, May 2, 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. Don't do anything specific. RickK 22:53, May 2, 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. Gentgeen 02:00, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. — Trilobite (Talk) 02:07, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. thames 03:31, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. Well. This would just prolong the chaos. --User:Jenmoa 16:13, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. GD 22:41, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. This is not a good thing; this is making this option looking all too likely to win. I hope this doesn't win. Removing styles entirely would certainly be quite possible. I don't like voting here, but this is definitely better than including styles. Titanium Dragon 09:53, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fifth choice. This is really an awful option. —Brent Dax 23:53, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice FearÉIREANNFlag of Ireland.svg\(talk) 03:19, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. One-dimensional Tangent 05:46, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. This is better than 2, which seems to be a recipe for disaster; better than 3, which implies a lot of redundancy in the text; and better than 4. Noisy | Talk 10:50, May 6, 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. -Hapsiainen 11:13, May 6, 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. Anything, even the chaotic status quo, would be better that alternatives 1 and 2. — Ford 20:51, 2005 May 6 (UTC)
  • Third choice. BTfromLA 23:51, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice Second choice. Yup. Better endless individual debates than enforced tabloid prose. Zocky 16:25, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. – ugen64 02:19, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choiceGeni 12:43, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. Proteus (Talk) 11:41, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. Smoddy (Rabbit and pork) 13:10, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. James F. (talk) 13:59, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. This isn't really a choice at all, but the voting system forces me to do this. Bratschetalk random 15:47, May 8, 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. As per the users immediately above, jguk 15:56, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. TreyHarris 20:57, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. patsw 21:27, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. Ann Heneghan 22:32, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third.-gadfium 00:17, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. The status quo isn't too bad though. JYolkowski // talk 01:48, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. Paul August 02:45, May 9, 2005 (UTC)
  • Third Choice john k 03:14, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third Choice. violet/riga (t) 16:34, 9 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Second choice. -Willmcw 23:34, May 9, 2005 (UTC)
  • Third Choice DMTsurel 15:08, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. I don't consider this vote to be valid. --Carnildo 20:02, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. While I now think that articles generally shouldn't start with styles, I'd prefer it if it were not set in stone as official policy — Asbestos | Talk 21:09, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
  • First choice. WP is not a howto manual, and I see no reason to make an exception for How to Flatter the Very Famous. The people who need to know are diplomats and they already know. In newspapers, conversation, etc., writers and speakers dispense with this twaddle; why should WP be any more toadying than is a good newspaper? If on the other hand this is thought to be "information" about somebody, then stick it somewhere in his or her article -- but, as it's unimportant, not the first sentence not the first paragraph, let alone the first sentence. -- Hoary 06:58, 2005 May 13 (UTC) PS it has been pointed out to me that a vote for choice 5 is a vote for scrapping this decision process and doing something afresh; also, that my comments seem to suggest that I'd like choice 4. However, (i) choice 4 is a vote for a convention, and I see no need for one; (ii) choice 5 is "None of the above", which is what I think; and (iii) it's obvious that I'm on the losing side, so there's no danger of a rehash of this issue. If the great majority believe that WP should be a howto of toadying to the nobs (or even that Mrs Windsor is majestic, Pope Joe is holy, etc.), so be it. -- Hoary 05:05, 2005 May 14 (UTC) (when I also amended my earlier comment, from "first sentence" to "first paragraph") Oh all right then, second choice (after option 4). -- Hoary 14:26, 2005 May 14 (UTC)
  • Third choice Vilcxjo 11:39, 13 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Fourth choice. JRM · Talk 20:01, 2005 May 13 (UTC)
  • Third choice. JamesMLane 06:41, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Third choice. Better than 1. or 2. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:06, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Final results[edit]

The survey is now closed, and new votes will not be accepted nor may existing votes be changed, as the deadline has passed. A more complete analysis with conclusions and a follow-up ratification vote will be posted shortly, but as people may want to know what the final results are sooner rather than later, I thought it would be helpful to provide the final results as they have been counted.

A given set of preferences can be designated in preference order like A>B>C which means that A is preferred to B, and B is preferred to C. If there are multiple votes that have this set of preferences, we can provide the number first, like 5:A>B>C. If 6 voters chose B as their first and only choice, their preferences can be designated like 6:B>A=C which shows that B is preferred to both A and C, where A and C are equally ranked with one another.

The final results for this survey can therefore be described as follows:

5:1>2=3=4=5
1:1>2>3=4=5
2:1>2>3>4=5
1:1>2>3>5>4
1:1>2=4=5>3
1:1>2=4>5>3
6:1>2>4>5>3
1:1>2>5>3>4
6:1>2>5>4>3
1:1>3>4>2>5
1:1>5>2=3=4
1:1>5>2>3=4
1:1>5>4>3>2
1:2>1>4>5>3
2:2>1>3>4=5
1:2>1>5>4>3
6:3>1=2=4=5
1:3>1>2=4=5
1:3>1>2>5>4
1:3>1>5>4>2
1:3>2>1=4=5
1:3>2>1>5>4
1:3>4>1=2=5
1:3>4>1>5>2
2:3>4>2>5>1
1:3>4=5>1>2
1:3>4>5>1=2
2:3>4>5>1>2
1:3>4>5>2>1
1:3>5>1=2=4
1:3>5>4>2>1
1:4>1=2=3=5
1:4>2>1=5>3
2:4>3>1=2=5
1:4>3=5>2>1
3:4>3>5>1>2
4:4>3>5>2>1
1:4>5>2=3>1
1:4>5>3>1=2
1:4>5>3>1>2
2:4>5>3>2>1
1:5>3>1>4>2
1:5>4>3>1>2

Without creating all the matrices out by hand for the purposes of getting a quick count, we can use a handy online calculator to tally these results by selecting Beatpath Winner and pasting these values into the form as the list of ranked ballots.

With 73 valid votes counted, Alternative 3 was preferred 39:33 to Alternative 1 (53.4% strength), Alternative 1 was preferred 37:28 to Alternative 4 (50.7% strength), and Alternative 4 was preferred 35:30 to Alternative 3 (47.9% strength). Dropping the weakest defeat to resolve the cyclical ambiguity, Alternative 3 was most strongly preferred. Alternative 2 was preferred only to Alternative 5, leaving Alternative 5 defeated by all other options.

Explanation of "Weakest Defeat"[edit]

Because there is a cycle (3>1, 1>4, 4>3) above, the final result seems ambiguous. However, all sets of preferences are not equal. Only 47.9% of the total ballots cast expressed a preference for 4>3, so 52.1% of the total ballots either preferred 3>4 or had no preference between these alternatives. Since a majority do not mind if Alternative 4 does not defeat Alternative 3, we drop that comparison from consideration. What then remains is 3>1>4, with the largest number of ballots satisfied by this outcome.

A more complete description of this method can be found at the Cloneproof Schwartz Sequential Dropping page.

Ratification[edit]

The survey results have been calculated, and the winning alternative is now being subjected to ratification in order to establish whether or not the prescribed convention should be adopted.

Please go to the Ratification page to approve or reject this convention.

Discussion[edit]

Any discussion relating to the survey itself and not intended to indicate a preference for a particular alternative should go on the Talk page.

Comments on Whig and Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters[edit]

FYI, please note that comments are now invited on Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Whig and Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters. In both instances, the request is to ask them to calm down, leave this issue alone for a while and contribute constuctively elsewhere on WP. Incidentally, I have offered to do the same if they both agree. Kind regards, jguk 20:18, 16 May 2005 (UTC)