Wikipedia:Motto of the day/Guidelines

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The Motto of the Day is open to all editors to nominate and review mottos, but there is a set of rules that restrict the kind of motto that will be approved. This article discusses the entire process of nomination. Bear in mind that MOTD is not a bureaucracy, and if a rule stops you from contributing to the Motto of the day, then ignore it!

The motto[edit]


Before you nominate a motto, of course you have to think of one! It can be a quote, a real motto, a slogan, or even a simple sentence you've come up with on the bus!

In general, the motto must be somehow related to Wikipedia and its community. Any motto that is not related to Wikipedia will not be accepted. To relate a motto to Wikipedia, please wikilink them to the appropriate project pages. Do not edit the quote for this purpose, and do not use links that are not related to Wikipedia.

Also, please check out the frequently used ideas and the archives before you nominate a motto. If a similar or identical motto has been nominated before, check whether it had been approved. If it had, don't nominate it. Otherwise, link to the old nomination when you nominate the motto. That way, people can easily compare your version and the old one.

Here are some more rules about the motto being nominated:

Your motto should:

  • Reflect the community or purpose of Wikipedia.
  • Be short; it's a motto, not an essay.
  • Be funny or serious; but nevertheless, interesting.
  • Be powerful; it should provoke a reaction or draw attention, not just another "blah blah".

Your motto should not:

  • Be offensive or inflammatory.
  • Be too obscure (so no little-known Yoda quotes, please).
  • Contain redundant links (e.g. We want you! …to join Wikipedia., where the meaning is clear without the links).
  • Contain broken links.

Tip: avoid rarely used words that not everyone will understand. Remember, a lot of non-native-English speakers read Wikipedia.


The format of the motto is rather free. However, there are also a few rules regarding the format of the motto:

  • Pipe links.

Wrong: Be WP:BOLD, but be not WP:VANDAL.
Wrong: Be bold, but be not too bold.
Correct: Be bold, but be not too bold.

  • Use an arrow link in front of a motto that you didn't make up yourself. If it is a quote, link it to the work it comes from or, if it does not come from a work, link it to a person. If it's a saying from a particular country, you can link to German proverb, Chinese idiom, etc. Remember, be specific. The arrow looks like this:→. Don't forget to add a space after the arrow.

Wrong: To be, or not to be, that is the question.
Wrong: To be, or not to be, that is the question.
Correct: To be, or not to be, that is the question.

  • If your motto comes from a poem or some kind of lyrics, then you may need a line break. (<br />) Don't put the lines together on one line or use other ways to separate them. Stick to the original; don't be afraid to capitalise after a comma!

Wrong: Ring a Ring o' rosie, a pocket full of posies
Wrong: Ring a Ring o' rosie,

a pocket full of posies
Correct: Ring a Ring o' rosie,
A pocket full of posies

  • If your motto comes from a foreign language, consider which one is more common in the English-speaking world. If the original is more common, then use a <br /> as well.

Wrong: Yi shi er niao
Correct: Kill two birds with one stone
Wrong: Veni, Vidi, Vici.
Wrong: I came, I saw, I conquered.
Wrong: Veni, Vidi, Vici. (I came, I saw, I conquered.)
Correct: Veni, Vidi, Vici.
(I came, I saw, I conquered.)


If your motto is for a specific date or purpose, then put it in the specials. Otherwise, put it in WP:MOTD/Nominations/In Review.

You should nominate your motto on top of the page, not the bottom like talk pages. Use ===third degree sections===, add a description under the motto, and remember to sign (~~~~) your nomination, after the description.

Discussion process[edit]

Anyone can comment on a nomination. Simply state whether you Support the motto, Oppose it or have a Neutral opinion ('''Support''', '''Oppose''' or '''Neutral'''), and state your reasons. Remember to always sign your posts on discussion pages. However, it is generally frowned upon to support or oppose the same motto more than once, although multiple comments are allowed. You can also add a comment by adding Comment, and reply to any comment with the word Reply. Please note that this page uses the bulleted discussion style, the same as on deletion discussions. Also, please do not support your own motto.

If you have an idea that might improve a motto by rewording, changing the links, etc., create an edit under a nested heading (see the below example). Simple spelling mistakes or punctuation errors may be corrected without creating a new edit; just be sure to leave a comment explaining exactly what you have changed.

=== Example motto ===
Origin of the motto and your comments. ~~~~
*'''Comment'''First comment goes here. ~~~~
**'''Reply''' Any replies get indented again. ~~~~
*'''Support''' ~~~~
*'''Oppose''' ~~~~
*'''Neutral''' ~~~~
==== Edit 1 of Example motto ====
'''Edit 1'''. Reason for edit, what was changed, whose idea, etc. ~~~~


Any discussion on the In review page that is more than two weeks old or is obviously snowballing may be closed by following the process below and copying the whole discussion to the top of the Decisions page. Anyone can close a discussion; you don't have to be an administrator, however to avoid conflicts of interest, we ask that you not close any nomination that you started, when possible.

Determine consensus, if any[edit]

  1. Decide if the motto should be approved, rejected, or reopened. Keep in mind:
    a) Nominations may be approved only if consensus favors support of the motto.
    b) Nominations may be reopened only once and only if there is no consensus.
    c) All other nominations should be rejected, including those that have not reached consensus after being reopened.
  2. Try to keep closings as uncontroversial as possible. If in doubt, reopen.
  3. Do not approve similar versions of the same motto. If the nomination contains edits, only approve the version with the most support. Reject the others.
    • The exception to this is if an edit is significantly different from the others, and has gained enough support to be approved on its own.
  4. Please note that WP:SNOW should only be used in closure when the consensus for or against a motto, taking into account the reasons behind, is unanimous, therefore approved or declined by everyone.
  5. Remember, this is not a vote count. Read through all of the comments, and if there are any good points that people haven't answered, supporting or opposing, then reopen. Don't just count up the supports and opposes.

Display the result[edit]

Once the result of the discussion has been determined, add one of the following to the bottom of the discussion (without the bullet):

  1. To approve: add {{Approved}} for [[Wikipedia:Motto of the day/MONTH DAY, YEAR]] (optional comment) ~~~~
    The next open space for a motto can be found here.
  2. To reject: add {{Thrown out}} (reason) ~~~~ or {{Declined}} (reason) ~~~~
  3. To reopen: add {{reopened}} (reason) ~~~~

Then, move the entire discussion to the top of the Decisions page. From there it should be archived after a period of time. If you chose to reopen the motto, move it to the top of the In review or Specials page, depending on where it originally was.

There are templates that can be used to make closing easier; they are Template:Appr, Template:Rej, and Template:ThrowMotto.


Here is an example of what a reopened, then approved, nomination would look like:

=== Example motto ===
* Votes and comments. ~~~~

{{reopened}} ~~~~

* Additional votes and comments. ~~~~

{{Approved}} for [[Wikipedia:Motto of the day/February 31, 2012]]. Enough additional votes have been added to form a consensus. ~~~~

Sample Reasons[edit]

There are usually numerous reasons why nominations may be closed. Below are a list of common reasons. Please note that these are only a guide. There are many other possible reasons.

Common reasons for approving

  • Approved per consensus.
  • Approved per WP:SNOW.
  • Approved per weak consensus.

Common reasons for reopening\relisting

  • recycle Reopened no discussion
  • recycle Reopened no consensus
  • recycle Reopened to give nomination a better chance of consensus being determined (or {{relist}})
  • recycle Reopened not enough discussion

Common reasons for declining

  •  Declined\ Rejected per consensus.
  •  Declined\ Rejected per WP:SNOW
  •  Declined\ Rejected no consensus
  •  Declined\ Rejected no consensus after reopening
  •  Declined\ Rejected frequently used idea WP:MOTD/FUI
  •  Declined\ Rejected been done before and approved on (insert date(s) and link(s) from archive(s))
  •  Declined\ Rejected withdrawn
  •  Declined\ Rejected in favour of edit X