Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English)/Diacritics RfC

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The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The heart of this RfC is a proposal to change the wording of the guideline at WP:DIACRITICS. There is no consensus to go forward with that change. There is general agreement that diacritics should be used for the name of a subject if the majority of English-language reliable sources use them, and there is agreement that if the commonly used name for the subject is an Anglicized version that everyone will recognize, it should be used. But these are items that already had consensus before the RfC started. On everything particular to the RfC, even the question of what the exact impact of the proposed wording would be, opinion appears to be split down the middle. --RL0919 (talk) 23:29, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

The RfC seeks to clearly and more precisely define how WP:COMMONNAME is applied in article namespaces for languages and names with diacritics. It also seeks to define more precise circumstances under which article titles are expected to use diacritics, and when not. The change will ratify the current practice on English Wikipedia. 04:35, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

The underlying thinking is that diacritics are of varying importance depending on the foreign language, and ought to be respected as much as possible; alternative names that are universally and habitually used by English-speakers will retain their traditional Anglicised forms.

High quality sources such as National Geographic and Britannica already use diacritics extensively in the same manner as is proposed here. Other sources use them to a greater or lesser extent (see below). many people feel that correct spelling of names of people and places whose origins are 'non-English' is a matter of precision and respect to the person or country of their origin; a word with the diacritics may mean something utterly different in its absence; others are confused how the use of diacritics could be reconciled with common English usage, which does not generally employ diacritics. In the interests of greater precision, consistency and clarity for editors and readers alike, the practice needs to be properly defined in Wikipedia.

What are diacritics[edit]

A diacritic is an ancillary glyph added to a letter, or basic glyph that may appear above or below a letter, or in some other position such as within the letter or between two letters. The term derives from the Greek διακριτικός (diakritikós, "distinguishing"). Some diacritical marks, such as the acute ( ´ ) and grave ( ` ) are often called accents.


Diacritics in the Latin alphabet are employed mainly to modify the sound value of the letter to which they are added. In English, the diaeresis (two dots above the i) in naïve and Noël show that the vowel is pronounced separately from the preceding vowel; the acute and grave 'accents' indicate that a final vowel is to be pronounced, as in saké and poetic breathèd. The c-cedilla (as in 'façade' shows the 'c' is soft. In other Latin alphabets, they may distinguish between homonyms, such as French là "there" versus la "the", which are both pronounced [la]. In Gaelic type, a dot over consonants indicates lenition of the consonant in question. In other alphabetic systems, diacritics may perform other functions.

In orthography and collation, a letter modified by a diacritic may be treated either as a new, distinct letter or as a letter–diacritic combination. This varies from language to language, and may even vary from case to case within a language. In some cases, letters are used as "in-line diacritics" in place of ancillary glyphs, because they modify the sound of the letter preceding them, as in the case of the "h" in English "sh" and "th".

The English alphabet consists of the 26 letters we all learned since singing as a toddler, and can occasionally include graphemes and diacritics. In the globalised 21st century world, with the trend for information to flow outside of borders, the English alphabet is showing its limitations. National alphabets are only capable of capturing the pronunciations that are characteristic of the given language. What is more, English is known for its grammatical and pronunciation idiosyncrasies; It is woefully inadequate when trying to capture pronunciations of even many other languages with Romanised characters and standardised pronunciations, such as French and Czech. In many such languages, characters with diacritics are letters in their own right. Removal of these crudely by stripping out the diacritics amounts to a lack of respect – imagine if someone systematically removes one letter, like all the 'a's, from your name; or constantly address you as 'Jimbo' (common name, no?) when you prefer 'James'.

WP is technologically capable of displaying a very wide range of diacritics; we also have armies of editors from various linguistic backgrounds happy to ensure all this is carried out properly. Both these are advantages that can and do give great service to our readers. The Mediawiki software allows for creation of redirects

The letters 'ç' and 'é', for example, are already loan-letters in our alphabet (viz their fairly pervasive use: café, façade, rôle). Use of other letters, such as the 'á' (long a), 'ř' ('r' with a haček), for which there are no equivalents, gives clues to a different pronunciation. The reader may not know exactly how such words are pronounced, but they may be at least made aware that it isn't to be pronounced as they might expect an English word to be; those curious will initiate their own enquiries. Thankfully for a famous namesake, 'Dvorak' is now universally familiar, even when the haček is absent. However, for poor Jiří Novák, English people seeing the bare 'Jiri Novak' would undoubtedly call him "Jerry Novak" instead of pronouncing his name as it should be – "Yirzhi Novaak". In the absence of official transliteration policies for the nation concerned, none of these is correct. Removing diacritics from names that natively have them amounts to misrepresentation and loss of crucial linguistic information.

Anglicisation alternatives[edit]

  1. Leaving diacritics as they are
  2. Stripping out the diacritics
  3. Transliteration

In general, how to replace a letter correctly depends on the language as well as the letter. We often see For some modified letters there are rules for replacing them by more easily available letters (such as the German 'ü', often substituted by 'ue' when Anglicised), when necessary. In some cases these rules are more complicated than just using the unadorned base letter. E.g. 'ö' becomes 'oe' in German words, but 'o' in Swedish words. If a Swedish resident has a German name we are in trouble.

The practice of stripping out diacritics has its origins in text rendering in ASCII. Today, we have unicode characters, which offer the possibility of rendering all Latin characters and more, and such replacements are generally considered acceptable where they are necessary for technical reasons. They are increasingly considered unacceptable where the technical problems do not apply and the focus is on a proper name itself. (This applies both in the original languages and in English.)

Popular myths[edit]

  1. There are no diacritics in English language
    see English words with diacritics and wikt:Appendix:English_words_with_diacritics

Current wording[edit]

The use of modified letters (such as accents or other diacritics) in article titles is neither encouraged nor discouraged; when deciding between versions of a word which differ in the use or non-use of modified letters, follow the general usage in English reliable sources (including other encyclopedias and reference works). The policy on using common names and on foreign names does not prohibit the use of modified letters, if they are used in the common name as verified by reliable sources.

Proposed wording[edit]

The use of diacritics in proper nouns from languages with a roman script [1] should be respected. Native forms of such words should be used in article titles as appropriate. Common renderings without diacritics (where used in English-language sources) may also appear in the body of the article if that rendering can be cited to reliable sources. Both native and non-diacritic renderings must be adequately cited. A loan word should carry its original diacritics only when they are commonly used in English-language sources. For languages not defined here, the general usage in English reliable sources (including other encyclopedias and reference works) should be followed. The policy on using common names and on foreign names does not prohibit the use of modified letters, if they are used in the common name as verified by reliable sources.

  • List of languages

Implications of the change[edit]

The implications are not huge. It is already common practice to use diacritics on Wikipedia. For example:

"How would you verify the names or titles?"

The primary requirement for an article on a subject is notability. The sources needed to demonstrate that notability will enable verification; it will usually include at least one citation in the language of the subject's origin.

"Will articles such as Japan, Munich, Copenhagen, Charles Bridge, Ho Chi Minh City, Moscow, Fou Ts'ong and Martina Navratilova be renamed 'Nihon', 'München', 'København' 'Karlův most', 'Hồ Chí Minh City', 'Москва́', 'Fu Cong' and 'Martina Navrátilová' respectively?"

No. Whilst the article on Jiří Novák – who is not widely and internationally known – should be at Jiří Novák, and not Jiri Novak, the above are examples of common names. Although the subjects are of foreign origin, these words and names that have become Anglicised and are internationally recognised as same. Navratilova is herself a naturalised American citizen, and has abandoned the use of accents in her name.

"Will Đặng Hữu Phúc, Category:People from Hokkaidō, Shōnan be renamed 'Dang Huu Phuc', 'Category:People from Hokkaido', 'Shonan' respectively?"

Yes. These latter are 'common names' – although of foreign origin, these names have become Anglicised and are internationally recognised as same. Furthermore, the names are derived from non-European non-Roman-script languages, so diacritics use is not replicated.

"Why has xxx language been excluded?"

Non-Latin scripts cannot necessarily be mapped letter for letter onto English. Different authorities use different systems of transliteration.

Sinitic languages are mostly monosyllabic languages, identification depends on a complex script and pronunciations reliant on tones, overlaid with heavy contextual clues. There is no such person called Li Na, and there never will be. The tennis player is named 李娜, and Mao Zedong's daughter is named 李讷 – both phonetically represented as 'Li Na'. In these case, the diacritics only give a clue to which one of the four tones in Mandarin to adopt None of the Roman script clues is of any help in identifying among the hundreds of possibilities for each character. It's the equivalent of using only an initial to identify an individual. On the other hand, Li Na (fencer), Li Na (tennis), Li Na (cyclist), Li Na (diver) all are spelled with identical characters (李娜) – a bit like 'John Smith', but it would be impossible to know that without referring to the Chinese characters in cases such as these.

"The article I'm looking for probably has diacritics, but I haven't a clue. How will I find it?"

The Wikipedia search box is very versatile, and can be used to access any article without using diacritics. Readers can type a version omitting all accents and they are subsequently redirected to an article containing full name. It is beneficial to anyone and it cannot damage neither the encyclopaedia nor the English language. Because of Wikipedia's technical platform, its outlook and its pillars and its international contributor-base, this project should be a modern reference point providing undistorted facts, especially in case of proper names.

List of languages within the scope of the change[edit]

Broadly, these would include all European languages employing Roman script, plus Turkish, Hawaiian and Māori.

External practices[edit]

Not all external organisations use diacritics; others use them to varying degrees. While The New York Times limits diacritics use to French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and German words and names, avoiding accents in words or names from other less familiar languages, it emphasises non-use principally to avoid errors and ensure consistency. The United States Government Printing Office recognises that diacritical marks are not used with anglicised words; foreign words carry the diacritical marks as an essential part of their spelling.

The following is a summary list is of external journals or organisations that use diacritics to some degree, and is without specific annotation. Please refer to User:Prolog/Diacritical_marks#External_guides for more details:

Academic publications and publishers[edit]

Educational and scientific institutions[edit]

International organisations[edit]

National agencies[edit]

Newspapers and magazines[edit]

Style guides[edit]

See also[edit]


Please indicate your choice below in the relevant sub-sections. Your comments should be limited to one or two lines of text. All discussion and detailed arguments should take place on the talk page.


  1. as proposer. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 04:35, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  2. Māori should be added as one of the languages this applies to.-gadfium 05:20, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  3. Proposed wording is not perfect but a big improvement on the current version. Scottish Gaelic and Welsh could also be added to the list of languages. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 07:00, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  4. Seems like a sensible well thought through proposal. Making the guidelines clearer is always a significant net positive. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 08:06, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  5. An improvement over what we have now. —Kusma (t·c) 08:08, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  6. A much needed improvement. Proposed guideline is clearer, embodies current best practice, and ensures Wikipedia doesn't wind up as a "resource for the 20th century" when most major serious sources and resources have already (also) adopted this practice.Volunteer Marek (talk) 08:45, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  7. Yes, a move in the right direction; the precise wording still needs discussion, but it reflects long-established practice much better than the current wording of the guideline does.--Kotniski (talk) 09:20, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  8. Support. I think the wording could be better; personally, I'd rather keep it simple and just put more emphasis on using the spelling that reliable sources use (the choice of article title should not necessarily be dominated by en sources to the exclusion of others, but if en sources use a distinct (ie. unaccented) spelling then as a minimum that spelling should be covered with a redirect and a mention in the lede.). However, as it stands, I think this proposal is a big step forward. bobrayner (talk) 09:32, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  9. Support. With the emphasis on the spelling using diacritics being widely available in reliable sources. --HighKing (talk) 10:48, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  10. Support. We need a better guideline as even though this is only a small isue, it is creating way too many conflicts. Also it embodies best practice used in Wikipedia. --Sporti (talk) 11:56, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  11. Support this step in the correct direction. The list of languages is a little lacking, some of the more obvious omissions are Albanian, Croatian, Serbian and Vietnamese. See List of languages by writing system#Latin alphabet for plenty more; I’m not saying list all of them, but there are a lot that are more deserving than Provençal]). —MTC (talk) 12:07, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  12. Support - and absolutely remove the list of languages because we are never going to list them all and we already lack some rather large languages like the ones mentioned above.--Avala (talk) 12:36, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  13. Support - In the end this will end the bickering- But the list of languges should be changed to "languages with roman/latin script". Agathoclea (talk) 12:41, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  14. Support. Not perfect, yet much needed reform and a giant leap forward for our policy. - Darwinek (talk) 13:11, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  15. We should spell things how they are meant to be spelled. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 16:53, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  16. Support I would add that the use of diacritics (with the obvious exceptions) is also the standard in all Wikipedia projects that I'm aware of (French, German, Spanish and so on). Opposers below seem to think that using diacritics is somehow in violation of the English language itself and that this whole thing is a conspiracy by foreigners who should just go back to their little diacritic-filled corner of the universe. It's not a conspiracy. Usage of diacritics is standard in scholarly work and although Wikipedia doesn't yet qualify as scholarly work, that level of quality and precision is still the ultimate objective. Pichpich (talk) 18:10, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  17. Support Omitting diacritics does not make the articles easier to find (since wiki searchbox readily finds those articles when their titles without the diacritics are typed in) or read, yet it detracts from quality because any omission implies lesser quality per se. Furthermore as WP:UE already spells this type of use I believe WP:AINT applies in this case too. On the final note, listing languages serves no purpose as this applies to all Latin script languages (including English: e.g. Café).--Tomobe03 (talk) 18:37, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  18. This seems reasonable. We can and should of course always have redirects from the versions without diacrital marks - rendering the argument that it's too hard to type with the diacritics moot, in my opinion. LadyofShalott 18:40, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  19. Per fetchcomms. I've never really agreed with the broad scope which WP:COMMONNAME is applied, especially to cases where a common name really isn't a proper, encyclopedic name. Adopting this will increase our level of professionalism. Of course, proper redirects should always be created to avoid having to type an odd letter. ThemFromSpace 20:22, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  20. Support - The proposal reflects current practice. NB. Scottish Gaelic and Welsh should be added to the list of languages. Daicaregos (talk) 20:31, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  21. The current wording (which follows this 2008 rewrite) does not reflect standard practice. Similar to the practices of other English-language encyclopedias (such as Britannica and Columbia), case-by-case popularity contests are not preferred over accuracy and consistency, especially with personal names. Due to the high number of articles we have compared to the other encyclopedias, we can not always look to the most reliable and relevant sources for guidance. Fortunately, we can and we do still follow the encyclopedic style in cases where Wikipedia is the first encyclopedia to write about a certain topic. The consistency in using diacritical marks is also in line with the recommendations of numerous external style guides. The proposed wording is a step in the right direction. Prolog (talk) 20:51, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  22. Support Good idea Paulista01 (talk) 23:43, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  23. Support, along with redirects from any relevant "other" rendering. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 06:34, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  24. Support. We're an encyclopaedia. We report the facts, including diacritics. There are no downsides to getting it right: readers who encounter unfamiliar diacritics are perfectly capable of mentally stripping them off, and diacritics are no barrier to searching, thanks to the excellent search box, and no barrier to editing thanks to cut-and-paste and to the Unicode box available to every editor. Colonies Chris (talk) 09:13, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  25. Support. Would like to see a list of encyclopedias in #External practices section, plus references to their MoSes. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 16:46, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  26. Support we are an encyclopeadia first, lets at least try to get peoples names spelled correctly. Agree with most other arguments, we only use good sources anyway, if ENGLISH language sources spell things wrongly we can use better sources, compare to e.g. a scientific sources that have POW against something we make that articles neutral and correct by determining what source is best, when ENGLISH language sources change peoples spelling we can correct that by using better sources, that is how wikipedia should work to make the best encyclopedia. --Stefan talk 00:23, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
  27. Support per my previous involvement in the discussion [and comments moved below].--Vejvančický (talk | contribs) 06:52, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
  28. Support. Not displaying diacritics where they actually belong would simply be false. Geschichte (talk) 22:02, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
  29. Support. Adding "diacritics" doesn't do anyone any harm, and increases the amount of information contained in Wikipedia. It's a net win. The proposal omits one important reason to include "diacritics", though: they can be necessary for disambiguation. For instance, Bäckman and Backman are two different names, but misspelling the first as "Backman" will cause confusion. Elrith (talk) 00:26, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
  30. Support diacritics are accurate and encyclopedic, and the proposal would make the guidelines less ambiguous. Sami should also be added to the list. Arsenikk (talk) 06:39, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
  31. Support Since setting redirects should solve basically all problems concerning the search for an article, the only question I can see is if easier writability and readabilty make up for the disadvantages stated in this (granted, lopsided) proposal. Imo, they don't. This is an encyclopedia, after all, and I cannot see how simply replacing some letters with others could still leave a name correct. I also fail to see how this could be in conflict with WP:COMMONNAME, because spellings based just on the English typeset for, as I presume, technical reasons only actually neither change the names themselves, nor do they make the use of these spellings "common". How could some news websites provide more "commonness" than official documents of international vadility, like passports? --Axolotl Nr.733 (talk) 17:20, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
  32. Support with reservations. First, I congratulate User:Ohconfucius on an extremely thoughtful exposition. A great effort, and regardless of the outcome a valuable exploration that should be referred to whenever these issues are revisited. There are flaws in the detail; but others have teased out some of these well enough. I give my support because of the value of such dialogue, and because I favour the proposed wording over what we have now; but I would do things a little differently. So would many! We are dealing not so much with a problem as with a whole suite of problems. While any revised practice that the community eventually accepts will be settled according to practicalities, these are rooted in theory. A hard unavoidable fact! Theory, including the rational taxonomy of alphabets, and of variations in alphabets. All of that needs further work. I doubt that such theory can be surveyed or acted on well in the Wikipedia environment. In some areas we reach limits imposed by the collaborative "swarm" nature of Wikipedia, like the limits imposed by laws of nature. This is one such area. NoeticaTea? 23:30, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
  33. Support. An encyclopedia is a book of knowledge, used for learning. It is not unreasonable to expect that a person using Wikipedia will, through that use, learn how to properly spell a noun that includes diacritics, especially in cases where those marks are important to accurately identifying the person, place, or thing to which the noun refers. Whether or not diacritics are easily typed or readily searched are red-herring issues that can be, and have been, addressed technologically. This is a very well-reasoned RfC that clearly lays out its line of thought, making it easy to understand (and hence support). // ⌘macwhiz (talk) 16:14, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
  34. Support. English is enlightening itself by showing real names of things as they are in their native languages, when there is not another universally used form in plain English characters. Againme (talk) 14:14, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
  35. Support If there is no established English spelling then of course we should use the native spelling. -DJSasso (talk) 17:04, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
    • It won't matter if there is established English spelling... diacritics must be used instead if this is implemented. Fyunck(click) (talk) 18:34, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
      • You might want to read the proposal closer. That isn't at all what it is saying. It very clearly indicates that when there isn't an established English usage that we fall back to the native version. -DJSasso (talk) 18:53, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
        • I read the proposed wording again and you are incorrect. It says diacritics are to be used for the listed languages, but the common name May be used in the Body of the article. That is unacceptable imho. Fyunck(click) (talk) 19:21, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
          • The writing of this took great care to make sure that was not the case. It says Native forms of such words should be used in article titles as appropriate. which is indicating when there isn't an English version. It also goes on to emphasize it by saying The policy on using common names and on foreign names does not prohibit the use of modified letters, if they are used in the common name as verified by reliable sources. The sentence you are quoting is talking about the fact that if you use diacritics you are likely to also want to put the name without them in the article. The purpose of the rewording is not to enforce the use of them always but rather to stop people from stripping them out when they are indeed the common name or there is no established English usage. -DJSasso (talk) 19:24, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
          • In fact one of the very first sentences in the proposal says "alternative names that are universally and habitually used by English-speakers will retain their traditional Anglicised forms.". -DJSasso (talk) 19:32, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
            • That is NOT the proposal. That is the writer's thoughts which are biased. All that matters is the actual wording in the proposal, which will replace the current wording, and how that will affect future and present articles. And wow do we read that proposal differently. I'm reading the words not what may or may not be indicated. In the proposal it even says "For languages not defined here, the general usage in English reliable sources should be followed." So what do you think that says about the 26 languages defined here? ...we are to use diacritics with them. I'm guessing how one reads it is why this proposal is split down the middle with no consensus. Replacing the current wording with that proposal is a green light for all diacritic names in those 26 languages and if great care was taken to make sure people read it your way, then someone blew it. I'll let you have the last word but no way could I support this as written. Fyunck(click) (talk) 20:05, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
  36. Support. It's a ridiculous thought that diacritics should be ignored at en-wiki. En-wiki would be all the much poorer without them. The proposal is well-balanced, and in my view the only possible outcome. Wikipedia is the go-to-place when you want to know, and it would lose much of its credibility and authority without'em. Instead, it can, it least presently, pride itself on being correct even on this matter. I am baffled to see that this vote-off is even close. Remember that this is an encyclopaedia. The ambition must be higher than deliberately having half-correct, reasonably-correct, decently-correct, somewhat correct or rather correct info here. HandsomeFella (talk) 19:56, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
  37. Support. I'm satisfied with the proposal; it looks good. Usually English articles around the web, and in newspapers, don't spell out the diacritics because it's harder to spell out the diacritics in English keyboards. I agree that we should not ignore diacritics just because this is the English Wikipedia. HeyMid (contribs) 21:35, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
  38. Support. In French, diacritics modify both the pronunciation and the meaning of some words: see French Accent Homographs. Therefore, I think use of diacritics should even be made mandatory for french titles (consider for example Les Bronzés vs Les Bronzes). Regards, Comte0 (talk) 10:55, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
  39. Support in absence of a single convincing argument why removing this verifiable information is worthwhile. - filelakeshoe 15:46, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
  40. Support per the proposal. WikiDao 15:42, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
  41. Support per proposal. Use of diacritics is more precise and is, I believe, a mark of respect towards the individual and/or the language represented. Rejectwater (talk) 16:42, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
  42. Support Disclaimer: I'm a native German speaker. If we don't want to look highly unprofessional to the non-native speakers among our readers, diacritics should be respected. I'm somewhat doubtful about the list of languages, and WP:COMMONNAMES should probably be included in the wording (which Ohconfucius means because he explicitly says that Munich will not be renamed to München), but the reasoning and explanations of diacritics really say everything. --ἀνυπόδητος (talk) 13:43, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
  43. Support Changing status quo will always face resistance based on previously established rules. However, consensus can change. When has it ever been beneficial to have less information and not more? I support use of diacritics in the article name, and the wording in the RfC proposal already allows non-diacritics use in the body of the article if there is consensus: "Common renderings without diacritics (where used in English-language sources) may also appear in the body of the article if that rendering can be cited to reliable sources." —Bagumba (talk) 18:03, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  44. Overall, I support this. I don't think there's much to add for a reason given the above. However, it shouldn't be considered trump the preference for common names, as sometimes an anglicised form may be in truly overwhelmingly more widely used. —innotata 16:18, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
    • Then you will be out of luck because that's exactly what will happen per this proposal. It will trump the common name. Fyunck(click) (talk) 04:01, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  45. Support. Makes more sense than using the most common version on the web which contains inherent bias with small Google hits sample sizes. Rymatz (talk) 17:25, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
  46. Support. Well-argued and makes a lot of sense in terms of correctness for those of us who know some of these languages and in my impression conforms to contemporary "professional" English writing standards, where much less "stripping" takes place than in bygone years. Tomas e (talk) 10:34, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  47. Support. The other spelling will have redirects to the correct, so there will be no missunderstandings. Ex Horby goes already now to correct Hörby municipality. Adville (talk) 11:12, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  48. Support per proposal. Lsj (talk) 11:59, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  49. Popperipopp (talk) 12:53, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  50. Support per proposal. Fernbom2 (talk) 12:54, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  51. Support; naturally a serious and reliable encyclopedia should use as precise and correct spelling as possible. /FredrikT (talk) 12:58, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  52. Support: Tanzania (talk) 13:03, 23 July 2011 (UTC) Wikipedia is not supposed to come up with its own information, but retail what others have written. And so it is with names as well. Use the native usage of the person's name, unless the sources state otherwise. (Like Homer instead of Homeros)
  53. Support. Common practive (in the UK at least) now seems to be to use diacritics where they appear. -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:29, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  54. Support Already common useage on Wikipedia, greater clarity. / Pinrut (talk) 15:14, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  55. Grillo (talk) 16:24, 23 July 2011 (UTC) (As has been pointed out at numerous places on this page, dropping diacritics effectively massacres the pronounciation of names. Failure to understand this commonly stems from monolingualism, common among native English speakers.)
  56. Support per proposal. MikaelLindmark (talk) 23:40, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  57. Support per proposal. Rex Sueciæ 21:47, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
  58. Support per proposal. This is already the basic practice on the various Wikipedia music projects, which have many foreign language name articles. The list of foreign languages should be expanded per previous suggestions. --Kleinzach 10:39, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
  59. Support. Disclaimer: I'm a native speaker of Swedish, with a common Swedish surname (Jönsson) which will become a different common Swedish surname (Jonsson) if you leave out the diacritics (as has been done most of the times I've written for English publications). However, as an editor of English Wikipedia, I genuinly believe supporting this proposal makes English Wikipedia better, the same way as Swedish Wikipedia is made better by not using Swedish capitalization (e.g. The lord of the rings) for English titles, the way most Swedish newspapers (but not academic publications) do. This is more exact, and in some cases less confusing. Of course, it's of uttermost importance that using diacritics never makes an article difficult to find, if you're looking for the name without using them. But I don't think that's a problem, is it? As has been pointed out above, we're an encyclopedia. We shouldn't look to the press for guidance. Journalists are working with tight deadlines, and their area of expertice is often journalism, not what they happen to write about on that particular day. We can do better. /Julle (talk) 22:35, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
    I agree with the sentiment that we shouldn't do something out of respect for another language, though. We should do this for our readers, because it makes Wikipedia a better encyclopedia. /Julle (talk) 22:38, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment Newspapers and media follow style guides that are implemented and enforced (presumably) by editors. It's not up to journalists. The New York Times has a published style guide. The Associated Press does too. Those are a good indication of valid and accepted practice in a language. Not certain how your capitalization example makes the Swedish wiki better. That's subjective and a preference. ʘ alaney2k ʘ (talk) 13:42, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
    • Of course it is a subjective preference, but then again, so is most of this discussion, to be honest. The argument is that it's better because it's more precise: it's the actual title. Or the actual name. Sometimes, as I've tried to point out, that distinction is the difference between two names, or two persons. There's, however, absolutely nothing inherently objectively better in that precision, even if I think it makes Wikipedia better. And yes, I'm aware of the style guides, since I write for money and sometimes have to follow them. I would still argue that academic publications are better sources, even here. Journalism isn't about being exact. I hope Wikipedia is, to an at least somewhat larger degree. /Julle (talk) 16:11, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
    • It is to a larger degree. That's why after the standard common English title we usually have the native spelling in parentheses. And for those who are more comfortable spelling in a foreign language the diacritical name will redirect to the English name. That's the way it should work. Fyunck(click) (talk) 17:27, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
  60. Support with proviso that the footnote be made to accurately reflect what is being sold "all European languages employing Roman script, plus Turkish, Hawaiian and Māori" so we don't get crap about "it's in Breton/Welsh/Albanian/Azeri/Latin, etc." so it doesn't apply. Carlossuarez46 (talk) 21:37, 3 August 2011 (UTC)


  1. I'm not liking the way this whole petition is written. Very one-sided, but I'm guessing that's on purpose. In tennis the ATP, WTA, US Open, Hall of Fame usually do not use diacritics. Those sources should always take precedent in tennis articles. I'd use the Press before Britannica. Fyunck(click) (talk) 05:53, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  2. The current wording is fine, and does not need to be changed. Article titles should continue to reflect common usage in English-language sources. --Elonka 07:05, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  3. Sure, diacritics exist in English, but not on English keyboards. Use diacritics in the lead to show their actual name, but beyond that is unnecessary and untidy. SellymeTalk 08:05, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
    • Actually diacritics do exist on English keyboards, most of them I believe (see keyboard layout). And I don't see how the small amount of difficulty is enough to trump the other considerations. There are some good arguments against diacritics out there, but this isn't one of them. —innotata 16:25, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
  4. Per Elonka. The current system of using the most common English spelling is the most sensible. Absconded Northerner (talk) 08:07, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  5. The original wording follows common name better. If diacritics are used in reliable English sources then they can and should be used in the article, if not then it is best to use the most recognisable form. AIRcorn (talk) 08:38, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  6. This proposal is an ambiguous flamewar-creator. It first says that diacritics should be respected, and then says that you may use non-diacritic versions if they can be cited to reliable sources. As we well know, most reliable sources such as magazines, will use the name without diacritics, as such the proposals effect for every single affected article will mean we have reliable sources without diacritics. The result will undoubtedly be that some will scream "It should use diacritics" and the other group will scream "but I have reliable sources!" This proposal has not been widely discussed on the talk page, and lacks the foundations needed for this change. It should have been discussed first, and the problems could have been avoided. --OpenFuture (talk) 08:59, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  7. This is a bad faith attempt to legislate editor's behavior from the top, nevermind the fact that it's a fairly transparent crusade to "fix" English and legitimize the behavior of several drafters in imposing their editorial view on the rest of the English Wikipedia. Not only should this proposal be defeated, but the drafters ought to be sanctioned.
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 11:55, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  8. The proposal would create a conflict with WP:COMMONNAME. Our policies and guidelines should work together, not conflict. Blueboar (talk) 12:51, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  9. Creates a conflict with WP:COMMONNAME, which works fine. Ealdgyth - Talk 13:45, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  10. I prefer the current wording. The usage of sources should be more important that some semi-arbitrary list of languages. Also, I disagree with treating Catalan as a dialect of Spanish (and Occitan of French), I'd say “a dot over consonants indicated lenition” as few people do that any more, I wouldn't be so adamant that “[t]here is no such person called Li Na, and there never will be” (exercise for the reader: find out what the most common family names in Canada are), and words like Cruithne are very likely to be mispronounced by non-Irish speakers even if they have no diacritics. That said, I wouldn't object to adding suggestions of what to do when several usages are common in reliable English-language secondary sources, but that wouldn't be “prefer diacritics for words in these languages but not for others”. A. di M.plédréachtaí 14:29, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  11. Strongly oppose. Any propoaal with "should be respected" in it means "Do what I say; I'll tell you what I say later." The proponents are, however, correct to say that we should use diacritics sometimes, and that they are, in some words, common in English now; but that's what the guideline already says. Therefore change is unnecessary; the only effect of this would be to spread such bizarre forms as Nguyễn Văn Thiệu even further than they already are; the late President of the former Republic is quite well known in English, as Thieu, and we should so spell him. (The Vietnamese diacritics should be included, as encyclopedic information, but they are useless to most readers, and no more needed throughout the article than long and short vowel marks in Latin - or English - words, both of which also exist.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:21, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  12. Oppose and concur with stated comments here current wording (usage common form English) should remain as it is.--Navops47 (talk) 15:40, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  13. Goes against the idea of WP:COMMONNAME. For example our article on Jaromir Jagr uses diacritics, but if you run a Google news search you find no diacritics. And note that ESPN's article on Petra Kvitova's Wimbledon win doesn't use diacritics, but we do. Hot Stop (c) 15:42, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  14. Oppose on the grounds of diacritics are not in the English language alphabet, and this is the English version of Wikipedia, and the rule is fully justified as it presently stands in the common name policy. The English version of "Wikipedia does not necessarily use the subject's "official" name as an article title; it instead uses the name that is most frequently used to refer to the subject in English-language reliable sources".SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 16:45, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  15. Oppose. 1) Notwithstanding the highly selective list in the proposal, the vast majority of English-language media do not routinely use diacritics. Even some in that list (e.g. the Guardian) usually do not include them in names - see their 2011 Wimbledon coverage where neither Djokovic nor Kitova include diacritics. 2) Loan words which have become incorporated into the English language almost universally lose their diacritic marks. The word 'cafe' is spelt without the mark in English, so is 'facade' and most of the other examples given. The only time such marks are included is when the loan word is still regarded as a part of the donor language, rather than English, and is usually typeset in italics at the same time. 3) WP:COMMONNAME applies - we use the spelling commonly used by English-language sources. If this includes diacritics, then we should use them. If not, we should not use them. 4) I think this RfC was badly presented: as an adversarial argument, a piece of persuasive writing if you will, rather than as an objective description of the issue and an acknowledgement of the arguments in both directions. Modest Genius talk 17:09, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  16. Oppose although it is difficult to work out from the wall of text what the actual proposal is. Modest Genius makes some very good points but basically the use of diacritics in English is rare outside of specialised media and hardly meets the general idea of common name to most english readers. MilborneOne (talk) 19:36, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  17. Oppose because it is far too general. Diacritics in languages more familiar to the English speaking world - such as French or German - are relatively common, well understood and more acceptable. Diacritics in others languages e.g. Eastern European languages - are largely incomprehensible. There needs to be a distinction. --Bermicourt (talk) 19:46, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  18. Oppose. This is not a well thought-out change. For guidance in helping to craft a better proposal, try first examining what nouns Encyclopedia Britannica uses diacritics on. If one is tempted to counter with something along the lines of “Unicode supports a broad set of characters and we need to keep up with the times,” think again. Fine encyclopedias like Encyclopedia Britannica have for decades had access to a world of characters and diacriticals from the largest type foundries; their choices as when diacriticals should and shouldn’t be used is based on guidelines that are more thoughtful and nuanced than what is being proposed here. Back to the drafting board. Greg L (talk) 05:48, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  19. Oppose the proposed change. Reliable English language sources should be used to decide on the correct spelling of article titles. Using a self created rule based system, to either encourage or discourage the use of diacritics is not something that the community will agree on. Those who are willing to look at reliable sources in good faith can usually agree upon which is the most common usage in English, whatever their own personal tastes. The current guideline gives adequate guidance on what to do if there is no clear common spelling among reliable English language sources. -- PBS (talk) 07:54, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  20. Oppose National Geographic and Britannica represent the outer limit of acceptable use of diacritics in published English. This proposal adopts them as the baseline usage model. "Common use" is supposed to be our pole star, not "native spelling" and "maximum acceptable diacritics." This proposal seems especially problematic when applied to international sport. Sport is a field of writing that has it own conventions and its own tertiary sources. It doesn't look to Britannica as either an authority or a usage model. Of sources relevant to sport, The New York Times has the most generous policy toward diacritics; They do not use Slavic or Scandinavian diacritics. The form of the name without diacritics is almost always the form that is more familiar to the reader. It is also the form that is more easily typeable and thus more useful for finding an article through a search engine and for links. The title should be a form that is mainstream usage in published English so it can serve as a usage model. Yet under this proposal, diacritics can be used in a title even when there is not a single example of their use in published English. The form of the name with diacritics can be given in boldface in the opening. Nitpicking corrections: The proposal recommends, "use of diacritics in proper nouns from languages with a roman script". Vietnamese has such a script, but it is not on the list of languages given in the footnote. (And, of course, Vietnamese is Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, not "Hồ Chí Minh City".) Kauffner (talk) 14:26, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  21. Strongly Oppose: As others have stated, this is the English Wikipedia, and should employ the usages most commonly used in English language sources. It's interesting to see that this proposal uses, as backing for its stance, a claim that the Britannica "uses diacritics." Not for many of the proper names that have proven contentious on Wikipedia, I find. Since WP:HOCKEY was cited, for example, one of the most contentious targets is Teemu Selanne; his name is rendered on the Britannica website without diacritics. [1] I note, having researched the issue extensively, that the other national Wikipedias - oddly enough - generally follow their own naming conventions, rather than render all English language proper names in English.  ῲ Ravenswing ῴ  19:48, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  22. Strongly oppose, both on the merits and on the extremely one-sided presentation of the dispute. Why in the world is our article titled Jaromír Jágr when his own hockey jerseys say "JAGR"? Powers T 02:05, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
  23. Oppose foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. Gigs (talk) 17:05, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
  24. This is the English language Wikipedia, therefore we should go with the english sources (i.e. no diacritics). GoodDay (talk) 20:08, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
  25. Oppose First, we are the English Wikipedia. We should be using the most common names in English. If the most common name uses diacritics, then so should we. If the most common name doesn't use diacritics, then neither should we. There is no need for this change. Second, Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English) is just a guideline. If somehow there is concensus for this change (there isn't currently), we'll also need to change WP:COMMONNAME and WP:NPOV. Since policies override guidelines, even if this change were enacted here, it wouldn't mean anything. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:25, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
  26. Oppose - per AQFK and several other of the comments above. Also on principle because this was set up as a vote when it should have been a discussion first, and any vote needs to be discussed and carefully set up by a group following a discussion, not as a prelude to a discussion. Carcharoth (talk) 23:23, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
  27. Oppose of course. The first choice on the English Wikipedia has to be for the English language. If English sources use a particular spelling and pronunciation, that is what we use, though it is helpful (not required) to indicate the spelling and pronunciation of appropriate connected languages. If we are going against standard English usage, then - given the widespread use of Wikipedia - we are influencing future usage, which is against our core founding principles. SilkTork *Tea time 08:33, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
  28. Oppose, and see my comment below.--Johnsemlak (talk) 08:50, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
  29. Oppose I don't mind diacritics as much as many here do, but this proposal is way out in the weeds. We are not moving Martina Navratilova to Martina Navrátilová. I realize the Q&A says the proposal does not require that move, but the Q&A appears to be wrong. There at least needs to be an exception for cases when WP:COMMONNAME would suggest the unadorned form. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 14:24, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
  30. Oppose. This proposal generalizes reliable sources' use of diacritics for French and German words to the extremes of incomprehensibility. Also, the wording: "the English alphabet is showing its limitations" and "stripping out the diacritics amounts to a lack of respect" are alienating political arguments against our core content policies (like WP:COMMONNAME). Quigley (talk) 23:12, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
  31. Oppose - This is the English language Wikipedia, and most readers will be English-speakers unable to type in the diacritics to go to the articles they want to read. It also violates WP:COMMONNAME. Reaper Eternal (talk) 11:52, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
  32. Oppose - I don't believe there is a need for a whole new regulation on this, just apply what we already have, which continues to make sense. Wikipedia shouldn't "respect diacritics", it should respect English usage. If English speakers and writers verifiably use diacritics, then so should Wikipedia. If they don't, then wikipedia shouldn't. This will always be a judgement call, and always be contentious, but that is the nature of the beast. No amount of policies will change this tension.Erudy (talk) 14:16, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
  33. Oppose I don't feel that this change in wording is necessary at all. The current wording specifically says to use the common name in English sources. That's all it needs to say. SilverserenC 04:30, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
  34. Oppose While I understand the arguments of those in favor of using diacritics, I don't agree. Saying that "this is the English Wikipedia" makes me feel like I'm being nativistic, however, its the truth. Diacritics which are unfamiliar to most English speakers make text visually difficult to read. I understand that the removal of diacritics can change the meaning of certain words in their native language, but that isn't necessarily true for their English meaning. When I'm not in an English speaking country, I don't expect people to say or spell my name exactly the same way I do. I expect my name to be spelled or spoken in a way that makes sense in the country I'm in. Just my two cents. ScamperCat (meow) 21:52, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
  35. Oppose We should not be campaigning to change common usage, or be more "correct" than our sources. Kanguole 09:37, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
  36. Oppose If English sources commonly use diacritics for a name, by all means use them. If not, I see no reason why proper names of a different language should use a form that is different from the common English spelling. And I certainly do not see a reason why proper names in non-English languages using roman script should be treated differently than proper names in non-English languages that do not use roman script. Rlendog (talk) 16:55, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
  37. My primary concern is the wording of the proposal. I'd rather we work out cases to follow, rather than philosophy. I think if we stick to philosophy we will never get close to consensus. I don't believe Wikipedia will ever be scholarly, though it will contain some scholarly articles. I believe we should follow the rules and spellings of news organizations with style guides. They have experience with this that is useful. ʘ alaney2k ʘ (talk) 03:10, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
    Your second and third sentences here are genius, alaney2k. Really good stuff. Someone should frame that, and hang it somewhere nice and visible. -GTBacchus(talk) 19:18, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
  38. Oppose it would create a conflict with WP:COMMONAME. Like it or not, in most cases the overwhelming majority of English-speaking people translate a non-English name into an English version (usually without diacritics - e.g.: Mexico instead of México). It even goes to the point that English keyboards make it difficult to write said diacritics. It's a simple fact that diacritics are a very rare feature in the English language and we shouldn't impose them upon this wiki through a Wiki-decree. This is the English wiki, a place where the use of common sense/common English spelling should be paramount. This simply ISN'T the global/international/political correct wiki where we are forced by politics to somehow "appease" other languages and show "proper respect" by using their non-English names. I wish to point out Support vote number 41 for a different opinion in this matter. Flamarande (talk) 12:48, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
    Ok, look, these are common names: Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Cologne and Munich, for Göteborg, København, Köln and München, respectively. The English-language names of those cities constitute established English-language usage. In some cases, established English-language usage has arisen by simply dropping the diacritic(s), such as in Montreal, Quebec – and indeed Mexico. Names of people, however, are generally not translated (royalty aside), which is why there are no people names, with one variant with diacritics and the other one without them, in the examples on WP:COMMONNAME. The reason for this is anyone's guess, but it could be attributed to both respect for the individual and the lack of experience of how to translate names. How do you do it? Should for instance a French person named Jacques (e.g. Chirac) become Jacob here? Should hockey player Per Svartvadet have his name translated into Peter Blackford? If we go in the other direction, should John Miller become Johann Müller in German, or should Karen Carpenter and Roger Moore become Karin Snickare and Rutger Mer in Swedish? Of course not – a person's name is personal. It is what he/she calls himself/herself. Nothing else. The dropping of diacritics in English-language media are thus not translations, but just a case of keyboards being imperfect tools, in many cases unable to accommodate for all variants of the Latin alphabet, and maybe combined with the author's limited experience of diacritics. Not applying diacritics in media is simply a matter of being practical, so to speak (whether the individual media has a policy on them or not); if you're not entirely sure how they are to be correctly applied in a specific name, you might as well skip them altogether, as the risk of applying them incorrectly is not negligible. In other words: they could as well be counted as the same spelling, whether the diacritics are applied or not.
    So when somebody comes and says: "Hey, I've got 7,000 hits without diacritics and only 2,700 without'em, without diacritics is by far the common spelling!", I say 7,000 hits on a zillion web pages is nothing (and certainly not established English-language usage), it's not common at all, it's only less uncommon than the other. A more interesting in question is, with wikipedia's ambition of being an encyclopedia, if the diacritics are not applied here – then where should they be? Why should we not have – like Hans Adler phrased it below – "precision in the place where it is most appropriate"? I mean, what harm could they possibly do? HandsomeFella (talk) 21:31, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
  39. Oppose - The proposed wording is longer, more confusing, and more legalistic than the current wording. Furthermore, it does not reflect what happens in the field, on a case-by-case basis. I don't think the current wording reflects the community consensus quite right either, but the proposed change is not an improvement. -GTBacchus(talk) 19:16, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
    Also, I just learned about WP:AINT, and I'd say it applies here. The fact that there's vigorous discussion spread out over lots of pages is a Good Thing, and trying to hammer out a rule that will stop all the discussions is not a goal we need to be pursuing. Those arguments should be allowed to happen until a consensus emerges from them. Then we can write that down, but we don't write laws, based on philosophical principles, and then apply them to concrete situations. The concrete situations are the soil from which our policies and guidelines grow. -GTBacchus(talk) 19:28, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
  40. Oppose Too prescriptive, and the proposed wording seems open to different interpretations (see Support # 35 above). I note that Irish is on the list, and Scottish Gaelic and Welsh are suggested to be added. This could well lead to trouble: "proper nouns from languages with a roman script" is too vague here. Johnbod (talk) 02:32, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
  41. Oppose. I am happy with the general principle but the existing wording seems to offer opportunities to defy COMMONNAME and resultant wiki-lawyering. If it even said "Native forms of such words should be used in article titles if appropriate" that would help. As pointed out above the next sentence also creates problems as "Common renderings without diacritics... may also appear in the body..." implies any such usage should be avoided in the title. I'd be happy to support a revised wording that places COMMONNAME first and allows for diacritics where appropriate. I regularly edit articles about places and individuals with Gaelic, Norse and English names and it is hard enough as it is without further complication. Uí Ímair is (to my mind) appropriate as a non-specialist reading this would be unlikely to know of an English version without diacritics and this version is recognised by historians, but we have Ivar the Boneless not Ívar or Ívarr as the first is clearly the commonly used version. Ben MacDui 10:18, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
  42. Oppose The pervading feeling I get is that this is a policy being foisted upon us by non-native English speakers. Though I can appreciate their usage in proper-nouns under commonname, I cannot support this and the inevitable floodgates washing diacritics everywhere and the arguments over which particular version should and should not be used. The current policy is fine, consensus on a case by case basis, not this whitewashing for all. Using a redirect is by far the best choice on en wiki. Chaosdruid (talk) 20:41, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
  43. Oppose If the language was better, like saying 'consulted', instead of 'respected', I could support it. I think it is making a point about respect, when it is supposed to be about editing. I've got no axe to grind, just think we have to be more neutral. HockeyOne (talk) 22:12, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
  44. Strongly Opposed — The arguments are totally specious. The claimed list of English words with diacritics is a fabrication. Just because one French person working for an English newspaper decides to spell a word of French origin in accordance with their native tongue, doesn't mean that English is commonly read, written, or spoken in that manner. Is anyone misled Does anyone think I've misspelled the majority of the words if I tell them to:

    "Have the garcon at the Montreal Hotel cafe bring you a latte and some jalapeno hors d'oeuvres (but double-check that he gives you back the right number of ores for your krone), then come up to the chateau with the crappy facade, and just cooperate with the Fuhrer's doppelganger next door; then we can resume work on your resume. And if you’re lame is lame, perhaps you should learn to speak'a de English."

    English is a bastardisation of foreign tongues and American is a bastardization of "proper" English (and as a Canuck I use 'em all). If ya wanna spend 5 mins looking thru lists of extended chars to type a sentence, then English speaking countries (and the western world) probably aren't your wisest choice. And by that I mean anyone suggesting that all English speaking people should, given that Unicode is now ubiquitous, be required to spend how ever long it takes to enter character representations in the form of their original source language, is asking more than this English speaker is prepared to give; as if you cared what I'm willing to do, I understand. The whole point of English is that we expect to remember the 200 oddball words and not all possible combinations of 150 extra letters.
    And what did your research show about the consistency of foreign spellings; how many ways is Jiří Novák spelled in the sources, were you planning on performing a complete statistical analysis on all 1.47 million Google hits for "Jiří Novák" to determine what the English consensus is? And what criteria will you be basing that analysis on? Is it just total count, 1 for Jiří, 1 for Jiri, 2 for Jiří, 1 for Jerry, 1 for Yiri, 2 for Jiri, 3 for Jiří; and will your analysis be taking into account which sources are repeating the spelling and which source is unique; are you going to be weighting your analysis; or is it just going to be good enough to cite 2 sources with whatever spelling they came up with? And for your argument that diacritics influence pronunciation, who do you figure is going to teach all the English boys and girls how to properly read and pronounce this new language? We anglicize names to give people the opportunity to influence pronunciation. If he wants to be Yiri, let him be Yiri, but if he wants to be Jiri, then he'd better get used to us calling him Jerry. Now who’s doing the article on Wikipædia•org? — Who R you? (talk) 08:03, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
    Case in point:   Jiri Novak -vs- Jiří NovákWho R you? (talk) 09:51, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
    I've never spoken to him, but it wouldn't surprise me that, if he had an Anglicised name at all, he would call himself 'George'. He'd never be 'Jiri' -naturally pronounced "Jirrie" ;-) --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 02:22, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
    • Isn't that the point; if he cares at all and prefers George, he tells the press to call him 'George'; otherwise he's... (I'd think 'Gee–Ree). Given the multitude of Jiri's who could have articles, one would anticipate an eventual disambiguation page; but then, what form should that take? Should there be two disambiguation pages, one each for Jiri and Jiří; do they cross–reference so that all names are included on both? The title is the search link (i.e. the encyclopedia's summarized index entry); that's the time to consolidate similarities to provide the user the full list of possibilities from which to make their choice. If there's only one Jiri, search returns him with the name appearing with diacritics in the article body; but if there are multiples, is the user, searching for the hockey player, expected to know that the RS norm for him was sans–diacritics, or will they assume the opposite and initially check a Jiří page (either disambiguation or (not specified as such) tennis player); if they don't find an Olympic hockey player there will they then search again for Jiri, or will they give up and look elsewhere; or should we add diacritics to the hockey player and mountaineer just to be consistent (even though that's not the form in the RS' found)? I wish I had an example with diacritics, but what happens when the non–English equivalent to William Williams exists; the clear link to an explanatory disambiguation page is the reply simplest (and thus most pleasing) to the user. And then there is the issue of those accessing via non–Unicode compliant devices; should the encyclopedia's index (i.e. Search) expect the user to recognize the 'Jiỿỿ Novỿk' for whom they seek? Regardless, there doesn't appear to be any consensus for change here; perhaps it's time to fix all the existing titles contravening WP:UE and WP:COMMONNAME. — Who R you? (talk) 19:06, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
  45. Oppose Current wording seems fine - "common usage". Where diacritics are more common, their use is a accurate and encyclopaedic; diacritics are common enough in many "English" words; the suggested wording is too prescriptive  Chzz  ►  01:02, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
  46. Oppose I support the current wording. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia - a tertiary compilation of secondary source material. This should apply to diacritics as much as to everything else. If a word - foreign or otherwise - is normally written in english with a diacritic then, by all means, include it. Otherwise, we should follow the most common usage. AndrewRT(Talk) 18:25, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
  47. Weak Oppose Not sure why a prescriptive rule is needed here. Why not determine, on a case-by-case basis, how most reliable sources spell a given name? TotientDragooned (talk) 18:10, 3 August 2011 (UTC)


  1. Comment regarding diacritics in some languages: I see Finnish and Swedish are listed above. However, in these languages Ä, Ö and Å are not considered A and O with diacritical marks, but are separate letters in their own right, even though they're written in the same way. Treating them as A and O is just wrong. However, Finnish does occasionally use carons (š and ž) in some loanwords, and Swedish occasionally uses the acute accent (é). These, in turn are diacritical marks.There are surely similar issues with other languages (Estonian for example). --KFP (contact | edits) 11:34, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
The same goes for many other languages, especially with marks above consonants.--Avala (talk) 16:05, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I would support more consistent usage of diacritics when there is no common name; but the wording as it stands now does not make it explicitly clear that WP:COMMONNAME still takes precedence over diacritic usage. That also appears to be the main argument of opposition. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 16:18, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I honestly can't tell what exactly we're voting for or against here -- I don't have the time to read the entire article -- but I know that diacritics can be used to differentiate words of totally different meanings in Spanish, and they can also be important in poetic verse (for meter). For one example of a stylebook that assumes the anti-diacritics position, the Associated Press Stylebook says not to use umlauts, but the AP is only picky about that because some American newsroom softwares don't cope well with special characters, and they won't print them correctly. I don't think this problem affects Wikipedia, so we should stick with diacritics.--Jp07 (talk) 16:39, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment. Firstly, thanks to Ohconfucius for taking the time to create this RfC so that we can (hopefully) gain a consensus on this issue. In my opinion, the reason this is such a problem is because actual usage conflicts with the policy. I've participated in quite a few RMs involving diacritics in the mast few months and have generally argued for not using diacritics unless it can be shown that the use of diacritics is the common name in English sources. And yet, in nearly every single RM the consensus has been to move to the title (or remain at the title) that uses diacritics. I'm not trying to rehash any of these discussions, but please take a look at a few examples.

    Talk:Anže Kopitar#Rename/move article: A Slovene hockey player who is notable for playing in an American league (the NHL). Throughout the RM, not one English source is provided using diacritics and all 21 English language references in the article (all RS) do not use diacritics. Yet the consensus was to remain at the title with diacritics.

    Talk:Vladimír Búřil#Requested move: The large majority of English language sources do not use diacritics (including The New York Times). The people arguing for the use of diacritics at that RM claimed that we should not follow news sources, we should instead follow other encyclopaedias (and other similar works). However, none of these players (it was a multi-move) have articles in other encyclopaedias. The result was to move the articles to diacritics titles.

    Talk:Jakub Petružálek#Requested move: All English sources from google news (about 900 of them) do not use diacritics. No English language source that uses diacritics is provided throughout the entire RM. It was argued that any source that drops the diacritics is therefore not reliable and the consensus was to remain at the title with diacritics. Of particular note, an experienced RM closer, GTBacchus, noted in his closure that the community consensus appears to have changed and is now in favour of using diacritics.

    To me, there can only be two solutions. Either we get a consensus that COMMONNAME does not apply to diacritics or that is does. If we find consensus for the latter, I would ask that the users who have opposed this RfC actually participate in RMs more regularly because it seems clear that, at the moment, the community consensus at the article/guideline level is vastly different to the consensus that is found at the individual article level. Jenks24 (talk) 18:26, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

    Among the many problems with this post, that's not what Bacchus said. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:16, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
    You do realise that a) I'm neutral and b) in all those RMs I was arguing the exact same opinion you have expressed here? In any case, this is what GTBacchus said: "Some strong arguments have been offered for keeping the article as it is, and the practice of removing diacritics does not seem to enjoy the consensus support that it once did. This has been a long time coming, and support for diacritics has grown steadily as long as I've been working in Requested Moves; i.e., about 5 years." Jenks24 (talk) 13:31, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
    Thank you. What I meant by it was, almost precisely, "that the community consensus appears to have changed and is now in favour of using diacritics." It's clear to me now that the way I said it was misleading, and would reasonably appear to many to be an endorsement of one side. I'd like to clarify in more detail what I have observed, but I'll do that somewhere further down the page. -GTBacchus(talk) 19:24, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
    • I think to use diacritics is unreliable in this English language Wikipedia, period. This is not the Serbian wikipedia, which it would be unreliable without the usage of such diacritics if it were this the Serbian Wikipedia. By the way, I will take part in those discussions since I now have knowledge of where to look for them, thanks on that matter.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 18:37, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
      • The reason that we have been discussing this issue at all is that this minor form of nationalist crusading has been tolerated too long. Those who would prefer writing in their native tongues to writing in English are free to do so; there are other Wikipedias for them, and other projects altogether. But this Wikipedia should be written in English, no matter how much those people who brough a general sanction on Eastern Europe would prefer otherwise. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:59, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
        • I'm afraid you won't care but I'm not sure you realize how offensive those sentences are. Disagreeing is one thing. Asking people who disagree with you to leave the project is another. Pichpich (talk) 22:06, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid that this is just par for the course for PMAnderson. He's made several obnoxious and offensive "love it or leave it" comments throughout this discussion and I have no idea why it has been tolerated.Volunteer Marek (talk) 23:47, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Pmanderson has his own rules, and is exempt from Wikipedia policy. --OpenFuture (talk) 12:29, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
I suggest Volunteer Marek and OpenFuture both re-read WP:NPA. Absconded Northerner (talk) 13:23, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
OK, I have now done so. It said the same thing as it did last time I read it. --OpenFuture (talk) 10:43, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
All are welcome to remain and work in the interests of the encyclopedia; those who oppose the interests of the encyclopedia and its readers are welcome to do something else. Which category individual editors fall in is up to them; merely opposing the comprehensibility of the articles is less serious (admittedly) than the usual nationalist cruft. I have said nothing more; anybody who claims the shoe fits is welcome to wear it. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:45, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, well, you see, the problem is that you've somehow come to identify "the interests of the encyclopedia" with "whatever Pmanderson says is right". I've mentioned before that this is essentially an upgraded version of WP:OWN megalomania, project wide. As of right now there are apparently at least 27 people who "oppose the interests of the encyclopedia" (sic) it seems - i.e. don't agree with you. Pretty soon, more than half the encyclopedia's going to oppose itself. This kind of ego-tripping would be a minor annoyance (admittedly), were it not also coupled with repeated ethnically based attacks on other editors.Volunteer Marek (talk) 10:01, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Please stop. Turning this into (yet another) a personal attack against Pmanderson will not help to build a consensus. Focus on the issue, not the editor. Blueboar (talk) 12:24, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
That's what I have been doing. That's not what Pmanderson has been doing. And some people are sick of being labeled, slandered and attacked by him. You're telling this to the wrong person.Volunteer Marek (talk) 18:12, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
  • How does the rewording not require Martina Navratilova to be moved to Martina Navrátilová? Does this somehow fall under the "loan word" clause? ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 21:29, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
    I agree that this is a problem. While I have been a vocal supporter of codifying our actual practice (and that of other English language reference works), this proposal is not well prepared and tends to hurt that goal. Hans Adler 21:57, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
    Navrátilová vs Navratilova was a specific example in the Q&A. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 13:56, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
    However, the Q&A (or words equivalent to the explanations within) are not part of the proposed changes, and so there is no basis for the answers. isaacl (talk) 14:04, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
    To elaborate on Isaac's response—the Navrátilová answer appears to be totally wrong, hence my question. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 14:15, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
    She seems to have become an American, in which case it is very likely that she got rid of her diacritics at least in a US context. Unless we have information to the contrary, that's certainly good enough for me as an argument for dropping them. Hans Adler 14:31, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
    Good enough for me, too, at least when combined with how RSs show her name. But it is not good enough for this proposal, as far as I can tell, hence my oppose. ErikHaugen (talk | contribs) 17:12, 8 July 2011 (UTC)


  • This isn't being done right. This voting needs to be withdrawn or redrawn. Best, --Discographer (talk) 19:26, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Don't talk nonsense: Dusseldorf and Gottingen have been used since the English began to write about foreign countries. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:27, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
This is contrary to WP:IMOS, which is older than this page - and works. They have not been notified. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:33, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose the placing of this RFC on a page other than the talk page of the guideline. Proposals such as this RfC should be on the talk page of the guideline (see WP:PG). -- PBS (talk) 07:54, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose: This rfc was made out of haste and should be withdrawn because of the biases and conditions of the nominator. This rfc already has failed and has no basis to continue on forward. If I were an Admin, I would close this and stick to present policy, which is fine under commonname, and this means if newspapers and magazines in the English language don't use diacritics then we should not uses them. If they do then it would be acceptable. This is not about being nationalistic, it is about keeping this encyclopedia in line with the English language and alphabet. On the basis of that it should be Djokoivic and Kvitova both without the usage of them because relevant reliable sources, which are magazines and newspapers, don't use them.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 02:39, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Support I would add that the use of diacritics (with the obvious exceptions) is also the standard in all Wikipedia projects that I'm aware of (French, German, Spanish and so on). Opposers below seem to think that using diacritics is somehow in violation of the English language itself and that this whole thing is a conspiracy by foreigners who should just go back to their little diacritic-filled corner of the universe. It's not a conspiracy. Usage of diacritics is standard in scholarly work and although Wikipedia doesn't yet qualify as scholarly work, that level of quality and precision is still the ultimate objective. Pichpich (talk) 18:10, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Umm, other projects use diacritics because their respective languages use them. Hot Stop (c) 18:16, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
English is English and English doesn't use diacritics like all of the stuff you site. Most if not all English languages sources and publications refers to people without the usage of diacritics. If it's not in the English alphabet don't be bringing that stuff and putting it on here. That should be the standard to go by the alphabet, period end of story!SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 18:20, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
This is all ridiculous. Each language uses only a small percentage of all the letter-diacritic combinations that exist globally. Yet the universal practice in encyclopedias and other reference works, not just the English ones such as Wikipedia, Britannica and Webster, but also German and French reference works and probably those in most other languages as well, is to use foreign diacritics in the large majority of cases. There seems to be a peculiar fear of some native speakers of English that their language might suffer from foreign infiltration. I cannot otherwise explain this bizarre resistance to precision in the place where it is most appropriate: In articles about foreign people and entities who don't have English names. Hans Adler 20:16, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Hear, Hear! "... precision in the place where it is most appropriate", I couldn't have worded it better. HandsomeFella (talk) 06:04, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
To Hot Stop: do your research. French, German and Spanish do not have the haček (as in Dominik Hašek) or the ø (as in Søren Kierkegaard) yet the corresponding articles on, and all use the diacritics. German does not have acute accents but de:René Char, French does not use ó but fr:Juan Ramón Jiménez, Spanish does not use ö but es:Henrik Rödl. They use diacritics because it's the way to convey precise information. Pichpich (talk) 22:02, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
No, it's because those are the common names. Like Antonín Dvořák on this wiki. I don't think anyone is arguing against never using diacriticals anywhere, just where those spellings are not used in standard reliable sources. Absconded Northerner (talk) 22:05, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
How do you know that that is the reason? Have you checked these names in French, German and Spanish language media, respectively? Or is it a lapse of mind, checking the usual English language media for "common-ness"? And how do you know that "commonname" is the rule in those wikis? They might have other rules that we don't know of. HandsomeFella (talk) 06:25, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't know about the other Wikipedias that you mention, but it is not true for the French one, for example see fr:Zurich. The French language has an overseeing commission that rules on correct French usage, English has no such commission so we have to rely on usage. On Wikiepdia we decide that by using reliable English language sources. Without knowing the rules for Italian and Spanish they use it:Zurigo and es:Zúrich, they do not use the same spelling as is used by the natives of Zurich. -- PBS (talk) 08:18, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
"Usage of diacritics is standard in scholarly work" if that is so then there is no need for this change of wording as that usage will be reflected in the usage in reliable English language sources and so is supported by the current wording. -- PBS (talk) 08:18, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
I am not thrilled by the precise wording of this proposal, but something like this became necessary because of disputes about articles that are not covered in scholarly sources, have no chance of ever being covered in scholarly sources, and in fact are only barely mentioned in reliable English sources. This is mostly about semi-notable people such as tennis players and hockey players who are barely known outside their (diacritcs-using) home countries. The only English sources that are writing about them are usually sources that routinely strip off all diacritics for simplicity. (Example: Björn Borg, who appears as "Bjorn Borg" in the American sports-centric press, is notable enough so that we can check how better sources deal with him. He is spelled correctly in Britannica etc., and mostly correctly in the quality press.)Hans Adler 09:00, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
If they "are only barely mentioned in reliable English sources" then Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English)No established usage covers it. If the usage is split as you mention for "Björn Borg" then usage should be decided by an informed debate on the article talk page initiated with a WP:RM-- as it is for any other subject where there is not a clear consensus among reliable sources. There is no need for this proposal. -- PBS (talk) 19:25, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Zurich seems to be a special case in French. It is certainly a special case in English: It is one of very few genuine English names for a foreign entity that just happen to look like the original spelling minus diacritics. Similarly, "Napoleon" isn't Napoléon minus the acute, but rather it's the English name. But "Gyor" is not a an English name but a convenience spelling for Győr (here we have the interesting case that there is also an intermediate spelling "Györ" around, which of course is also not a separate English name), and "Bjorn Borg" is not an English name of Björn Borg.
The question is: When we know that English reference works would write a name with diacritics if the found it worthwhile to write about a person at all, should we follow the practice of the sports press and remove the diacritics, or should we just do what is clearly the right thing in our context? The latter happens to be what we have been doing for years, but as it's not codified anywhere, the practice has come under severe attack over recent weeks. We are talking about potentially removing diacritics from more than 5% of our article titles. Hans Adler 09:00, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
"Similarly, 'Napoleon' isn't Napoléon minus the acute, but rather it's the English name." I think it is the same name, one is the French spelling the other is an Anglicised version of the name (Contemporaries in Britain called him Bonaparte as to call him Napoleon acknowledged his imperial title which the British never did ("was a warrior")). There are lots of names where Anglicised versions are used and it has been so for generations in English. Eg a nemesis of Bonaparte was Blücher and (to my surprise) the majority of English language books returned by Google Books use "Blucher" rather than "Blücher". What you consider "the right thing" is a speculative point of view, which could just as easily be inverted. I think it is better to follow what reliable sources use rather presenting a speculative case as to what they might use, because unless one makes up an arbitrary rule set to test a name against, there is no right or wrong, there is just English language usage. Before we qualified "common usage" with "common usage in reliable sources" in the policy page, we had a number of guidelines that laid down rules for names to emulate usage in reliable sources. It was this guideline that lead the way to the introduction of reliable sources into the policy, and since that was adopted in the policy, other guidelines have been gradually modified to follow usage in reliable sources (see WP:NCROY and WP:FLORA as to prominent examples of this change) rather than using rules to emulate usage in reliable sources. I think this proposal is a retrograde step.--PBS (talk) 19:25, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

A much needed improvement. Proposed guideline is clearer, embodies current best practice, and ensures Wikipedia doesn't wind up as a "resource for the 20th century" when most major serious sources and resources have already (also) adopted this practice.Volunteer Marek (talk) 08:45, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

"Most serious sources"? Does that mean The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph and The Times (you don't have to subscribe to see the headline on the front page) are not serious sources? There doesn't seem to be a single major English language source that doesn't use the "Djokovic" spelling.Absconded Northerner (talk) 08:51, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Please see the list already provided above [2]. This list could in fact be greatly expanded.Volunteer Marek (talk) 09:02, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes I saw the list, but as I pointed out, the Guardian and Times quite clearly do not use diacritics for everything, and so to include them is misleading. This proposal would affect every page, even where the use of diacritics is not appropriate given usage patterns. Absconded Northerner (talk) 09:58, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
You're right in that newspapers tend to be pretty inconsistent in their usage. This is part of the reason why newspapers and magazines are actually pretty low on my list of "serious sources". Other encyclopedias and academic sources, in my opinion, make for a better reference point.Volunteer Marek (talk) 18:44, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
No, Wikipedia prefers secondary sources such as newspapers to tertiary ones such as other encyclopedias (see WP:RS) and I don't see an exemption for naming conventions. In the meantime, the inaccurate and misleading examples should be removed from the list above. Absconded Northerner (talk) 19:28, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
No, that's actually not right. For sourcing of facts, yes, Wikipedia, as it should, prefers secondary sources. But for article titles and for usage of terms it actually prefers to reference tertiary sources - see how others Encyclopedias do it. This ignorance of policy, or failure to distinguish between sourcing article text - which should use secondary sources - and consulting tertiary sources to establish naming conventions is actually common in a lot of RM requests that I've seen. These are two different things and policy recognizes this. In fact, the fact that WP:COMMONNAME is essentially a big fucking self-contradictory mess is part of the reason for this confusion and why this rewording of the policy here is actually a big improvement.Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:03, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

The current wording is fine, and does not need to be changed. Article titles should continue to reflect common usage in English-language sources. --Elonka 07:05, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

That's the point - they can't "continue to" do that, because they don't. Common usage is usually without diacritics; Wikipedia usage is usually with diacritics (to the great benefit of its encyclopedic value). The current wording is not fine chiefly because it is an untrue statement of our practices.--Kotniski (talk) 09:24, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
I find it to the detriment of this English wikipedia. Common usage should rule with the diacritic spelling shown as an alternate in parenths. Fyunck(click) (talk) 09:44, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Whether common usage includes diacritics or not usually depends on the context (they are typically used in scholarly publications, and less used in sports journalism). —Kusma (t·c) 09:46, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
So what is the problem with using whatever is commonly used in reliable English language sources? Which depending on the subject of the article may be newspapers or scholarly publications or both? -- PBS (talk) 07:54, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
To be clear, my own preference is that article titles should use non-diacritic versions, unless it can be shown that English-language sources are routinely using a diacritic version. This is in accordance with WP:COMMONNAME. I understand that there is a very vocal group which wants article titles to reflect "home" spelling with diacritics, as the name would appear in its original language. I disagree with that for Wikipedia though, especially when it involves using unfamiliar characters such as " Þórr" or others that typical English-speakers are not familiar with. It makes searching, categorizing, alphabetizing, and many other activities much more difficult. If the New York Times and other major sources start using those diacritics in a routine manner, then fine, Wikipedia can adapt to match. But if that's not the case, then let's stick with the forms that are most recognizable in the title, and then we can put more detailed versions in the lead, just as we do with names that are in Chinese, Arabic, or any other unusual script. --Elonka 15:30, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Omitting diacritics does not make the articles easier to find (since wiki searchbox readily finds those articles when their titles without the diacritics are typed in) or read, yet it detracts from quality because any omission implies lesser quality per se. Furthermore as WP:UE already spells this type of use I believe WP:AINT applies in this case too. On the final note, listing languages serves no purpose as this applies to all Latin script languages (including English: e.g. Café).--Tomobe03 (talk) 18:37, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
WP:UE allows use of diacritics if they're commonly. This new policy would mandate their use in certain instances, regardless of how reliable sources use them. Also, WP:AINT would appear to be a reason to oppose these changes, not support them. Hot Stop (c) 18:43, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
It's a matter of how does one define a common name - but I'd rather carry on this on the talk page.--Tomobe03 (talk) 19:18, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • This seems reasonable. We can and should of course always have redirects from the versions without diacrital marks - rendering the argument that it's too hard to type with the diacritics moot, in my opinion. LadyofShalott 18:40, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
This seem entirely unreasonable because it puts an undue burden on the editors to have to find appropriate diacratics for the refering to the name in the text of the articles. Not only is that an undue burden, it makes everything on the page inaccurate via navboxes and start boxes. Furthermore, when refering the the atp and itf in the external links on Novak Djokovic page, which one is the tour and the other the governing body of tennis, who both refers to Djokovic without diacritic it makes them liars. I think we should do this on a case-by-case basis, and go with the governing body of the sport or at the least the English alphabet.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 18:53, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Sure, diacritics exist in English, but not on English keyboards. Use diacritics in the lead to show their actual name, but beyond that is unnecessary and untidy. SellymeTalk 08:05, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Except that they actually mean that you could mis-pronounce people's names and they are only going to be used when they are common anyhow. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 08:07, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Untrue. In tennis articles the vast majority of people will see names spelled through the Press and official tennis websites... those do not usually use diacritics yet wiki gets stuck with the diacritics anyways. Fyunck(click) (talk) 09:44, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • This proposal is an ambiguous flamewar-creator. It first says that diacritics should be respected, and then says that you may use non-diacritic versions if they can be cited to reliable sources. As we well know, most reliable sources such as magazines, will use the name without diacritics, as such the proposals effect for every single affected article will mean we have reliable sources without diacritics. The result will undoubtedly be that some will scream "It should use diacritics" and the other group will scream "but I have reliable sources!" This proposal has not been widely discussed on the talk page, and lacks the foundations needed for this change. It should have been discussed first, and the problems could have been avoided. --OpenFuture (talk) 08:59, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
One might be tempted to agree with you if flame wars were not already occurring. The proposal isn't perfect, but it should at least draw the line clearly that articles on Czech ice-hockey players with diacritics in their names who play only in the Czech Republic should occupy primarily a namespace with diacritics. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 10:07, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, flamewars are already occurring. The current flamewars are because the policy as of today can be interpreted in several ways, and that the pro-diacritic camp can interpret it to support them and the anti-diacritics camp can interpret it their way. Your proposal has the same problem, but is using stronger language. The result is that the flamewars will continue, and might even gets worse, because the policy is more clearly stated to strongly support both camps. If we make a policy change we have three options:
  1. We either clearly prefer diacritics, and *only* use diacritics when the non-diacritic version is established in English, as supported by dictionaries or encyclopedias, or
  2. We prefer non-diacritics as supported by a majority of English-language sources (because most sources like newspapers etc will not use them) and only use diacritics when that version is established in English, as supported by dictionaries and encyclopedias, or
  3. We try to clarify the policy step by step in a slow procedure.
I attempted the last with my proposal to include examples with diacritics, but although we had a consensus to add examples, none of the suggested examples got any notable amount of support, so that died. That means we should make a clear change. Your proposal is not this clear change. The ambiguity of COMMONNAME is in your proposal no longer because it doesn't mention diacritics, but now because it explicitly supports both camps. That doesn't work. Most reliable sources on the Czech hockeyplayers will not use diacritics, so your proposal will still lead to flamewars. --OpenFuture (talk) 10:34, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
However if we have a Czech ice-hockey player with diacritics in his name who plays only in the Czech Republic... he will likely not be notable enough for his own article. He may show up on an Olympic page. Then we'll look at how the Olympics spell his name in programs and what the NY Times, LA Times, London Times and Sports Illustrated write. Fyunck(click) (talk) 10:45, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
On the contrary, my understanding of WP:NHOCKEY is that any ice hockey player who plays one senior match in the Czech Extraliga (the Czech national league) is presumed to be notable. Jenks24 (talk) 17:34, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  1. This is a bad faith attempt to legislate editor's behavior from the top, nevermind the fact that it's a fairly transparent crusade to "fix" English and legitimize the behavior of several drafters in imposing their editorial view on the rest of the English Wikipedia. Not only should this proposal be defeated, but the drafters ought to be sanctioned.
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 11:55, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
    Your name is nice and interesting, V = IR. My name is Antonín Vejvančický. I'm crusading for accuracy. I don't want to "fix" and make my name English, because it is impossible. Antonin Vejvancicky is not English, it is nonsense. I told about it to my friends, we tried to spell our names without diacritics and it was a big and somewhat stupid fun. But it is not fun here on Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a serious encyclopedic project that should provide correct information. There's no intention to steal your English, and I assume you know it very well. Do you want to sanction us because of this legitimate proposal?? Feel free to do so, and please let me know about it. Vejvančický (talk | contribs) 19:05, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
    No, you are crusading against accuracy. If your name is spelled (in English as well as Czech) with diacritics, then the present policy says to spell it that way. But thst's true of your name, not of everybody's; it's inaccurate to misrepresent theirs. And, above all, you're crusading. Please stop. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:12, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

A few comments here. Has the issue of searchability been discussed? Sometimes I'm looking within a body of text for the name of a person (for example, when proofreading), and I hit Ctl-F and try and find their name, and then I realise I'm not finding it because there are diacritics there. Is there any easy way around this or do you have to go to the article, copy the name-with-diacritics and then resume your search remembering to search for both forms? This applies for any word with diacritics, not just names and proper nouns. The other issue, which I don't think has been raised, is that people for whom English is not their first language, or who know a language that has diacritics in it, may be more comfortable with diacritics than those who have English as their first and only language (I know English has loan words with diacritics, but those are not that common). It is this variance in ease of use and familiarity with diacritics that may lead to the impression some have that those from 'other' languages are 'crusading' and/or that those with only English as a first language are 'defensive'. I don't think there is any of that going on, but merely that people are wanting things to be adjusted to both an encyclopedic level and a level they are comfortable with. Those who read text with diacritics in them every day may underestimate the difficulties diacritics pose to those not familiar with them. Is there a way to solve this? Maybe a preference that allows differing amounts of diacritics to be displayed? I would love it if my browser would find both 'Djokovic' and 'Đoković' when I typed in a search for the former, and ditto for other instances of names with diacritics. Carcharoth (talk) 23:36, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

  • Indeed, you may have a point with your search issue. Although people don't have problems when using the Wikipedia search box, editors or readers may still face problems using Ctl-F. In my FF window, the find box can locate a 'č' (haček-c) but not a haček-r. It fails to find the Serbian 'Đ' and the Serbian 'ć'. It could be argued that the browser designers have come to a degree of diacritics tolerance, yet it could also be held true that the dumbing-down knowledge of diacritics is also happening. But like when using 'find' function in text editors, we know that only the exact string is the right string, so I am inclined to say that the workaround is the solution that best discourages mangling words in another language. As to the difficulties diacritics pose to those not familiar with them, the 'individual' solution- is to learn more about the language in question; on an organisational level, I feel we must also take steps to ensure that the reader is properly informed within the article, of which the title is a key part.

    I was once strongly opposed to seeing words with diacritics, principally based on discussions and how they work on Chinese characters. I have since changed that position in view of my positive experiences here – the general ease of use and accuracy (which I greatly appreciate), and an atmosphere of tolerance and mutual respect that has existed up until fairly recently... until, that is, the latest round of 'flame wars' initiated by page moves of one editor in particular. I don't think the supporters of this RfC want to do away with Anglicisations that have histories of centuries or even decades, they are striving for a greater accuracy respect for other languages and cultures. Wikipedia is awash with articles employing diacritics in their title (correct as per their native form), and proving their correct spelling is a trivial matter. Updating the policy merely clarifies our mission of providing accurate information to the reader. -Ohconfucius ¡digame! 04:53, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

  • a)I don't' often participate in RfC's but isn't it common to request users to post their views before going straight to a !vote?
  • b)My view is that we should encourage diacritic marks to be avoided whenever possible but to defer to mainstream media sources. I agree with Carcharath above--diacritics an other orthographic elements not in English cause headaches for many users and have caused me many such problems. They make searches difficult; they are very difficult or impossible to input for many users; and with due respect to speakers of the related languages, they can be unpleasant to look at. I've searched for an article a number of times and not found it due to this issue. IMO it is enough to show all the various 'spellings' on the article's page as we do.--Johnsemlak (talk) 08:58, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
  • There seem to be some dissatisfaction that there has been no discussion as a prelude to this vote. Let me correct the misconception by pointing out the page to which this is attached (and which this forms a part). The discussion on this issue has been raging there since mid April. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 09:21, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
A WP:RfC is an request for opinions from a wider audience. Many editors didn't know this discussion has been raging. Also problematic is that the RfC begins with the view of one user.--Johnsemlak (talk) 10:12, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
This section should probably be renamed as "poll" rather than "votes". It's still a discussion, not a vote. As it is, it's pretty clear that there's not consensus for a change, so if this ends with something like "36 supports, 35 opposes", and someone tries to change the policy based on "majority wins", I think it's going to cause great disruption. See also WP:NOTVOTE. --Elonka 13:32, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment on redirects. A Google, Yarhoo, or "Ask Jeeves" search does not necessarily give articles via redirects (not sure they ever do) the prominence in the listings that the title does. Instead they seem to give most weighting to the Bold Title above the editable text and then text stings close to the start of an article. I found this out with the article Popski's Private Army. It was moved from that title to No. 1 Demolition Squadron. Before I moved it back to the title "Popski's Private Army" the Wikipedia article was not in the first 20 entries returned (I did not look beyond the first 2 pages). Once moved back to its common title and the Google Bot had trawled it, the article returned to its former place as the first article returned by the search. This can be seen with the article Diacritic and the redirect to it Funny Foreign Squiggle. The former shows up as the first article returned in a search but the article is not present (in the first few pages of the three search engines I tested) when searched for with "Funny Foreign Squiggle". This means that comments along the lines of "use the correct name rather than the common title and a redirect will take care of the rest" are not true. The reason why names with or without diacritics will be found is if the search engine used to search for an article ignore their presence "(Lech Wałęsa)", not because of any redirect (Lech Walesa). -- PBS (talk) 08:56, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Support using diacritics if that is the wp:commonname, oppose using them if they're needlessly obscure. Strongly oppose suggestions that we should go out of our way to anglicize names by removing diacritics, when other sources leave them in, just because "this is the English Wikipedia". (talk) 05:56, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Observations - I don't have much opinion either way about whether we should use diacritics. I note that some of the arguments employed in this debate are better than others, and that's true on both sides. However I don't see that our cleverest arguments should be how we determine policy, because this is Wikipedia, not WikiCongress or WikiDebateClub. Policy is determined by, and emergent from, arguments made in the field about particular articles.

    Anyway, I close a lot of move requests, so I have had a chance to observe the community's thinking on this issue, over weeks, and months, and years. Since I don't care, I think I can neutrally describe what I've observed, so here we go:

    There are two cases: Sometimes there is at least one English rendering of a name or other diacritic-using word that is well established in reliable, English language sources. Sometimes, however, the topic is less talked about, and there isn't a well-established English rendering.

    In the first case, we generally choose the established usage that is most faithful to the subject, while remaining well-established in reliable English sources. This is why we have articles at Salvador Dalí and Hokkaido. Although many sources use "Dali", the accented spelling is also well-established in reliable English sources, whereas "Hokkaidō" is not.

    In cases where there is not a well-established English spelling, we're less consistent. We generally look at what few English sources there may be, and we look at sources in the language appropriate to the subject, and we look at the subject's own rendering of their name, in cases where that applies. After looking at these things, someone (who we hope is) neutral weighs the individual arguments and makes a call.

    I realize that the second part of that isn't very satisfying, but it is what happens, and I don't see that as a bad thing. The nature of the Wikipedia beast is that we don't always know what the "rules" are, and whenever we work in the main namespace, we're helping to write them. This rule is not quite written yet. -GTBacchus(talk) 19:54, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Potential Compromise?[edit]

  • When it comes to the use of diacritics, WP:COMMONNAME applies. However, if a reasonably complete search of English language sources shows a mixed result (ie we can not determine that a significant majority favors spelling the name with or without diacritics), the default "tie-breaking" position is to favor the "with-diacritics" version.

Would this be a reasonable compromise? Blueboar (talk) 13:13, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia's policy on foreign names (on the same page as WP:COMMONNAME) already says if there is no established usage, "follow the conventions of the language appropriate to the subject." isaacl (talk) 14:27, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid it can't prevent unnecessary and time-consuming obstructions. --Vejvančický (talk | contribs) 14:34, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
I think Blueboar is talking about when there are several established usages. A. di M.plédréachtaí 15:05, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
I like the idea that guidance is only necessary when usage in English is split. (When there is only one usage in English, not counting ones only used a non-sizeable minority of the times, it should be a no-brainer: follow that usage.) Not sure about the wording... My recommendation would be to try to determine whether the variation correlates with time, register, and/or national variety of English, and to prefer the usage of 21st-century sources in encyclopaedic register (which is usually more formal than newspapers and most textbooks and less formal than legal texts and most research papers) in the English-speaking country (if any) most closely associated with the subject of the article. (This should favour diacritics in most cases, but we shouldn't favour them for the sake of favouring them.) If usage is equally or nearly equally split even among this subset of the sources, keep the title used by the first major contributor unless and until consensus emerges that there's a good reason to do otherwise (e.g. consistency with closely related articles). I can't think of a sufficiently concise wording encompassing that, though. A. di M.plédréachtaí 15:15, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
(BTW, I think this should apply to all points of usage in article titles, not only diacritics.) A. di M.plédréachtaí 15:29, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
No it should go by common usages not by some other encyclopedia. The most used name should stand, which would mostly come from television broadcast, newspapers, and magazines.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 15:33, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
This is about when common usage is split. If 98 newspapers use Whatever and 2 encyclopaedias use Wħàŧèvër we should use the former, but if 50 newspapers use Whatever and 48 newspapers plus 2 encyclopaedias use Wħàŧèvër (or even 60 vs 38+2) we should use the latter. A. di M.plédréachtaí 17:20, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
I understand your reasonable mathematics, and would go with you on that basis. I just think more times than not it is pretty much self explanatory, if one arises that it is not, deal with it on a case-by-case basis. This is best done within the present guidelines of english, commonname, and the other link below. I think this policy needs be left and not be changed. Lets try not to change policy, when it is self explanatory.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 17:31, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Even going by what it says to do. I went to google books and looked for Novak Đoković with those diacritics, but it came up with the most English language result even under that seach criteria as Djokovic is most common in English based sources. So, this wiki will have to go with Djokovic because it is common usage.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 18:11, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes common English usage would tell us one thing but in wikipedia that has been thrown to the wayside continually. I'd bet 90% of tennis player articles here on wikipedia use diacritics when common usage easily says not to. Encyclopedia Britannica gets thrown in people's faces as the end-all source which overshadows people, newspapers, tv, internet, etc... Really this compromise is exactly what is already in spelled out in wikipedia just with better wording, but if passed it would require changing those 90% player articles. I do agree with this compromise but it'll be a fight royal. Fyunck(click) (talk) 18:52, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
I went and searched for Goran Ivanišević, which by looking at Ivanišević brings up no results, but to Ivanisevic it brings up a myriad of results. So, if we go by mathematics his article needs to be title Goran Ivanisevic. Even Wimbledon, the only Grand Slam tournament he made three finals and even won does not use diacritics, when refering to him on the champions honour roll.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 18:57, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
and what of Ilie Nastase/Ilie Năstase? Part of the problem is not just how the wording is now, it's that common usage is not being followed now. And this whole RfC is to take common usage away from editors and force the use of diacritics except in rare circumstances. Fyunck(click) (talk) 19:14, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Don't worry Fyunck(click)! Just go here and look, it should also be done without the usage of diacritics Google Books Ilie Năstase and Ilie Nastase.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 19:27, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Support per my previous involvement in the discussion. Here's a brief summary of my previous arguments:

  • How could using the diacritic in foreign proper names damage or threaten the purity of the English language? What have the Czech, Slovak or Swedish proper names to do with the English language? A name is just a name. If a person has a name that contains the "wiggly sqigglies" and the person is verifiably known under that name, a really good encyclopedic project should respect that, because it is the correct version, no more and no less. Wikipedia should strive for accuracy.
  • Wikipedia is an open source project with international editorship that can reach far better and more accurate outcome than the imperfect MoS of large newspapers written in English. We don't have the technical restrictions, and the multilingual human resources can guarantee the correctness with very good precision (of course, it is always necessary to cite reliable sources).
  • Should we adopt imperfection and limitations, even though we have human resources and technical mechanisms allowing correct description of facts?
  • Our readers have a choice, they can type a name omitting all accents and they are subsequently redirected to an article containing full name. It cannot damage neither the encyclopedia nor the English language. This project should be a modern reference point providing undistorted facts, especially in case of proper names.
  • Our current policy says: The title of an article should generally use the version of the name of the subject which is most common in the English language, as you would find it in reliable sources (for example other encyclopedias and reference works). Imagine a hypothetical situation: We would follow the guideline verbatim, we would compare encyclopedias and reference works, the results of G-search or another search engine and then divide the names into two groups based solely on the search results. It would be in my opinion unencyclopedic, inconsistent and totally confusing to the majority of our international readership. It would create a bizarre and unnatural situation that would have little to do with correct encyclopedic description. A really good encyclopedic project cannot distort the reality and made up proper names that are based on language selection.
  • Wikipedia should see the world in its diversity and complexity. Using the diacritics in foreign names could be an opportunity to learn more about the world, it could help people better understand the pronunciation of the names.

    --Vejvančický (talk | contribs) 06:52, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

    • I think you have slightly misunderstood the situation. The proposal is saying we should use a foreign language above the English language on the English Wikipedia. Other language Wikipedias would still use their own language. To get a feel for what actually happens across Wikipedias, look at United Kingdom and click on each of the other language Wikipedia articles on that topic. You'll note that each uses their own language to title the article. Examples Czech, German, French. As regards personal names - see Winston Churchill and Bulgarian, Russian, and Greek. Essentially, it doesn't matter how the word or name is written in the original language, what matters for each language Wikipedia is how the word or name is written in the home language. SilkTork *Tea time 09:01, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
      • Bulgarian, Russian and Greek are written in non-Roman script, and transliteration is unavoidable. United Kingdom is an example of a name that has established version in each of the mentioned languages. However, it doesn't work for 99.9% of personal names, and it is claimed here on en-wiki that by removing diacritics from a name we can make up a new English word/name. According to this logic it means that when I cross the UK border, I'm no longer Vejvančický, but I have a new perfectly English name: Vejvancicky :) Is there any institute in the English speaking countries where I could pay for keeping my name correct and undistorted? I think I can afford to pay for it, but unfortunately I can't pay for all the poor names containing diacritics. Vejvančický (talk | contribs) 10:36, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
        • Again, I think you are mistaking the process here. We don't remove anything. We preserve what reliable sources use. The proposal is suggesting that we make a change. If you have a problem with reliable sources changing names from one language to another, then you need to take that up with the sources, not here. We do not originate anything. We are unbiased, neutral, factual, true. We do not set out to make any changes to current practise out in the real world, nor pass comment on it, we merely record it. The sum of human knowledge as it stands as set out by society at large - not by Wikipedia. If you or anyone else is not comfortable with their name being changed in English, this is really not the place to be sorting that issue out. This is an encyclopedia, not a legal court or a soap box. SilkTork *Tea time 18:53, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Support. Not displaying diacritics where they actually belong would simply be false. Geschichte (talk) 22:02, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

  • And how do we determine whether they "belong" or not? My answer (and the current policy): we determine the WP:COMMONNAME. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Blueboar (talkcontribs) 19:07, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
    • We have to determine, which name is in greater usage in the English langauge, so without diacritic is not false if that is the most popular usage in the most English reliable sources. Most of the time, diacritics are omited in the English language sources, so it would not be in the title or the name of the article. We would always put it in parenthesis in the first sentence for verfication priorities and purposes.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 19:54, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
      • Your first sentence is not quite right, SaysWho... WP:COMMONNAME is not about determining which name is in greater usage in the English language, it is about determining which has the greatest usege in sources written in the English language. The distinction is subtle but it does exist. Blueboar (talk) 00:53, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

If "significant majority" refers to hits on Google Books, then the non-diacritical form will always come out on top, even for words that the dictionaries give with diacritics like "résumé". For names, diacritical usage is hardly ever above 10 percent. If usage is under 5 percent, I don't see how putting them the title can be justified. Most newspapers follow AP style, which is to the strip off the diacritics. So a news archive search will be even more tilted toward the non-diacritic version. For Slavic sports figures, which is what prompted this proposal, typically no English-language source gives diacritics. The form with diacritics can always be given in boldface in the opening. A typeable form certainly makes searching and linking simpler. Kauffner (talk) 09:47, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Another compromise?[edit]

  • Omit using diacratics article titles, unless their is majority coverage in English language reliable sources such as magazines, newspapers, and television broadcasts that uses them commonly and frequently. If not significant coverage by a majority of English language sources then put the diacritic use in the opening of the article. On the other hand, if they have more than majority coverage for their diacritic usage in English language sources then it is acceptable to use it as the article title. Both of these thresholds would allow for the articles to square with verification standards on the English version of Wikipedia. See if we use diacritics without the majority of English language sources using them it would be hard for editors and users to be able to understand the article, and we want it to be accessible to all. We could always make redirects for those that search for them with the diacritics, so they will be able to find the correct article.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 15:22, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

I would advise all of you who are supporting the above potential compromise that you should read Wikipedia is not a manual, guidebook, textbook, or scientific journal. This makes it pretty clear under the numbers seven and eight that diacritics not commonly used, which means majority coverage, should be left out of article titles. So, this is not just about commonname it is about what wikipedia is and isn't on the English version.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 15:52, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

  • Not opposed (but not completely supportive either): I think this proposal is the logical alternative to the compromise I proposed ... we both agree on "follow common usage in the English language sources" (and would include both academic and non-academic sources in our concept). Where we seem to disagree is what to do when a search of the sources is inconclusive. My proposal favors setting the default "tie-breaker" to "include-diacritics" while this one favors "don't include-diacritics". I (obviously) would prefer my version. Blueboar (talk) 16:29, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
    • I think Blueboar and me are onto something here. On the subject of Djokovic and Kvitova it would be to not use diacritics because the English policy mandates that we are to consider only the common usage of it in English to be the title, so Djokovic and Kvitova are to be used with redirects made from the diacritical name. Furthermore, it says "characters generally intelligible to literate speakers of English". This means that the usage of diacritics may not be intelligible to English speakers. I am so sorry if it seems bad to non-native speakers, but this is the en=english encyclopedia by the way.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 17:15, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
      • On the subject of proper names, such as nouns (people) with or without diacritics ideally, "the name which is likely to be most familiar to readers of English" is suppose to be used as a general guide. This means that the non-native diacritical name will not be used unless it is familiar to English readers.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 18:23, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
        • I would contend that in biographies of living or recently deceased people where the subject's own preference is known, that should normally be the default. If the subject has an official webpage in English, for example, the spelling used there should generally be considered correct; so for example, Paul Waaktaar-Savoy is correct because he has chosen to use the "English" version of his given name Pål, and Björk is correct because that's how she spells her name, and also because there is no established English version of Björk and the native spelling is widely used. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 18:51, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
          • No it should not be the persons or nationalistic official usage that gets implemented. It needs to be the english language common usage standard alone, period. Rule works superb.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 18:58, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
            • I went and searched in and to your Björk came up with no results, so it is not common usage in english of this name. On the other hand, Bjork came up with four results. So, by the present superb policy we should go by the latter search. Even by Google Books, we are to use it without diacritics.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 19:06, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
              Did you actually see the book pages or did you stop at the OCR'ed snippets on the search results page? A. di M.plédréachtaí 22:57, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

In what sense of the word "compromise" is this actually a "compromise"? The proposal by OhConfucius is already a compromise.Volunteer Marek (talk) 07:31, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

What? The proposal is no compromise at all. It makes it even harder for a common name to prevail than it already is. Fyunck(click) (talk) 08:03, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
You are sadly mistaken if you think this proposal is going anywhere. It already has enough oppose to prevent that from happening. By the way, OhConfucius is not a proposal or compromise in the slightest. It is an unintended mandate on the English language and the English language Wikipedia; we should use the common name in the English language, period end of story. OhConfucius is his biased attempt to implement his view to use all diacritics all the time to be the new standard in titling articles, which should not happen unless English language sources use those. In most instances, they plainly do not use them at all. The policies work fine and benefit the English Wikipedia greatly, and they don't need to get changed in the remotest of ways. If you want to use diacritics start the English diacritcs Wikipedia, don't go around changing the original English language one to not match the true English language. Britannica is not the be all and end all, which is OhConfucius only source he uses because it is cherry picking to get his way. Sorry to be so harsh, the policies are to take into consideration all reliable sources from encyclopedias, newspapers, magazines, and television broadcasts. This means just to single out Britannica as the only one is wrongheaded! Lastly, Blueboar's compromise is to use diacritics if they are split, but that is also slanted in the usage of them, and mine the other way. I think we can pretty much discern the commonname in the English language sources by taking into consideration of everything including books, as well. This is best done on a case-by-case basis under present day policy.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 15:35, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Some mistake, surely... since when have I (Ohconfucius) become the proposal??? It seems you do not have the facts right, and may need to work on your English expression. ;-) --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 15:48, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
I think it obvious that what was meant was that the proposal put forward by you (Ohconfucius) is not a compromise, but a complete negation of current policy. You wish to mandate the use of diacritics. That is an extreme position. The contrary extreme position is to ban diacritics entirely ... The compromise position between these two extremes is to allow them to be used in some cases and not in others (in accord with WP:COMMONNAME). This compromise position has the benefit of being in line with the current policy, however since the current policy is still unclear as to when to use them and when not to use them, we need to continue the process of compromising and consensus building so that we can better define where to draw the line. Blueboar (talk) 16:32, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
So, I'm condemned to spend the rest of my WikiLife filling WP:RM's! :)) No problem, I have to accept a lot of crazy things in real life and this is just another bit :) It looks that planets don't rotate in accordance with my wishes :) I'll wait for the result of this RfC and then I'll ask for moving of following articles (don't be scared, it is just a start):
  1. Lukas Sablik
  2. Lukas Mensator
  3. Roman Prosek
  4. Petr Prindis
  5. Jan Latal
  6. Jakub Trefny
  7. Martin Paryzek
  8. Michal Dobron
  9. Pavel Kubena
  10. Milan Hluchy
  11. Milan Prochazka
  12. Stepan Hrebejk
  13. Tomas Rohan
  14. Tomas Klima
  15. Jan Kostal
  16. Martin Zatovic
  17. Marek Melenovsky
  18. Frantisek Skladany
  19. Lukas Klima
--Vejvančický (talk | contribs) 16:56, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
This is the root of the whole problem, really. That list consists of unnotable people who play a largely disregarded sport in a country that doesn't use English as a native language - and yet these people are being used as the basis of an argument about changing the way the entire site works. As far as I can see, the entire sport of hockey is failing WP:UNDUE right now. Absconded Northerner (talk) 17:26, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
The notability issue aside... I have not done a complete search to see whether WP:COMMONNAME would indicate the use of diacritics for all these people or not ... I did do a quick (very) preliminary google news search on the first one on your list (Lukas Sablik). It seems that a lot of English-language news sources refer to him without the diacritics. My guess (and it is just a guess at this point) is that an RM would result in leaving the article title where it is.
That said, I will draw your attention to an edit I just made to that article... I changed the opening sentence so it now gives both the (no-diacritic) "English" version of his name, followed by the name in Czech (ie with diacritics) in parenthesis. This informs the reader of what the "correct" (Czech) spelling is, regardless of what appears as the article title. If we do this to all the articles you list, do we really need to conduct RMs? Blueboar (talk) 17:37, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
"My guess (and it is just a guess at this point) is that an RM would result in leaving the article title where it is." One would think so, but that has rarely been the case in recent RMs. Generally votes based on English language sources are outweighed by votes along the lines of "but, that's his name". Jenks24 (talk) 01:58, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes and the diacritic version of his name needs to have an article created with a redirect to the un-diacritc name so that users are able to find it. This is exactly what should happen under current policy. I will get on that right now.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 17:42, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Whenever someone punctuates their statements with phrases like "period end of story" and "period" (spelled out) then it's pretty clear that a compromise is about the last thing they're interested in.Volunteer Marek (talk) 21:08, 7 July 2011 (UTC) I might also point out that starting move/redirect wars in midst of this discussion is NOT a good idea.Volunteer Marek (talk) 21:09, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

This is because you are on the side of using this proposal to always use diacritics if one source namely Britannica uses them. I think the present policy should stand now because it is a good policy on its own. We don't need to rework a great policy, so that means no compromise. I like the fact of stare decisis not to overturn sound rules on the English Wikipedia. So, stare decisis should be given here with respect to commonname and UE!SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 23:47, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
The only compromise that I could think of is letting each individual project determine if they want to use diacritics on those articles like the WikiProject Hockey, WikiProject Tennis, WikiProject Journalism or WikiProject Name? I think this is a fair proposal to allow it to be done on a project-by-project basis not everything must be the same mentality like this proposal is advocating for in the first place. Wikipedia works best when differences exist because that's what makes it a living breathing encyclopedia.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 01:40, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
  • What I am advocating is to regularise an 'irregular' situation according to an objective standard – conventions adopted by the National Geographic. It's nothing to do with the alleged lack of notability of these individuals – they are; and it's nothing to do with the inability to prove the correct spelling – we can. The wonderful thing about Wikipedia is that, conservative place though it is, consensus rulez. As has been observed, we are already in a situation where the rules are out of step with the consensus practice, and we therefore have a largely consensus application of WP:IAR when it comes to these names. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 01:44, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Well then what would you do in these instances? I am just curious by the way, which way you would go here, I only want to hear from the proposer.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 02:24, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
  • All are living subjects, and I would be inclined to leave them in their current namespaces, out of respect for their native spellings. 'Novak Djokovic' appears to follow a form of Romanisation that is a)official and b)respects the pronunciation; Cyrillic appears to be the official form, which suggests all bets are off as far as diacritics go. There is no such official body for Czech that I know of that makes this determination for transition to a world without diacritics. As I have said elsewhere, Martina Navratilova appears to be a naturalised US citizen, and has chosen to adopt a version of her name without the 'long-a' diacritics which, incidentally isn't pronounced a million miles from how it ought to be in Czech. Same would probably go for Paulina Porizkova, although 'Pořízková' is effectively massacred by simply dropping diacritics. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 03:58, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Okay, but this is not what your proposal would in fact be doing. I like your comment to my examples. I do in fact believe we can work it out. I would say, that each subject area has authorities in their fields, which we should go by. I think for example those hockey players that play in the czech league may not even be notable in the English WIkipedia to begin with, but if they are we would use whatever the league they play in to discern the uaage of diacritics. However, if they do go to the NHL and the NHL doesn't use them in the English language then we should probably not. I think on the basis of tennis players we need to look at the ITF or ATP/WTA Tour websites and if they use them we should but if they don't we shouldn't. On the subject of historical figures, I think we can look at other sources, but I presently am at a loss for words right now. What do you think?SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 17:33, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm reminded of how the names are inscribed on the Wimbledon board of Champions (picture on a tennis forum) and (presumably) on the trophies themselves (are the names inscribed on the trophies?). It was definitely Djokovic, and it is Ivanisevic, though I don't know about Borg - I think they just used initials anyway and don't write the forenames out in full. Carcharoth (talk) 22:08, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

On notability, that is one issue, our current subject-specific notability guidelines make pretty much every obscure professional sports player automatically notable. The ludicrous situation that's been created is that coverage and sources don't matter, as long as they played "at the top professional level" or even at some special competition, then they get an article. We have tens of thousands of short BLPs on obscure sports people from obscure countries because of this standard. Gigs (talk) 18:53, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Diacritics usage[edit]

Diacritics are to be in article titles if they are used in voluminous multitudes of English language sources solitarily, which must contain numerous examples in an enormous assortment of media ranges to corroborate the standard of significantly substantial coverage in the subsequent categories of media or publications; encyclopedias, books, newspapers, magazines, television broadcasts, academic journals, and authorities in the subject matters requisite or selected occupation.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 04:07, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Names vs. Titles - a conceptual distinction[edit]

You know, I suspect that this entire debate is a result of the fact that we neglected to change the titles of our various "Naming convention" sub-pages when we changed "WP:Article titles" (which is the policy that governs the conventions) to its current title. We changed the Policy's title to deliberately get us away from the idea that an article's title is the same thing as the subject's Name... it isn't. It is worth repeating that the Title we choose for an article does not have to be the subject's name (although it can be)... a "Title" is simply a convenient label we attach to an article to distinguish it from other articles, and aid the reader in searching. It may help people to think of titles that do not use diacritics as being descriptive in nature... the most common words that English-speakers use to describe the subject. Blueboar (talk) 14:28, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Thinking on this some more... we should probably re-title all of our "Naming conventions" to bring them into sync with the policy title (so WP:Naming conventions (use English) would be changed to something like: "WP:Article titles (use English)")... I have opened a discussion at the main WT:Article titles talk page for comments on this idea. Blueboar (talk) 16:01, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
It wouldn't matter - the principle is still the same - we use the spelling as used by most English language reliable sources for the name within the article as well as in the title. We use the name as it is rendered in English, though there is the option in the opening sentence to give alternative spellings, etc. SilkTork *Tea time 00:48, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree it wouldn't matter, and I also agree with Blueboar that it's something we should probably do anyway, for clarity. Gigs (talk) 18:09, 13 July 2011 (UTC)
We have always preferred to use names in titles as much as reasonably possible; we don't want or need to move away from that. Even if the name is ambiguous with other uses, it's helpful to disambiguate by adding information clearly delineated from the name (usually in parentheses) so that the title still accurately reflects the most common name used in reliable sources to refer to the article's subject. We'd have a lot less arguing and consternation about titles if we would all agree to always use the most common name (disambiguated in parentheses as necessary), except for articles about topics that don't have names per se (like List of countries) which are really in a separate and relatively small category. That is, the vast majority of our articles are about topics that have names, and for which the name most commonly used to refer to it is obvious. In all those cases, that name, or that name disambiguated parenthetically, should be the title. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:59, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

2 weeks now - Inconclusive[edit]

Two weeks (which is longer than a lot of these things go) and it looks pretty much a wash around here. And that's with a summary that doesn't match the actual proposal. Shall we close this and move on as no consensus to change? Fyunck(click) (talk) 18:27, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

RfC time frame is usually 30 days is it not? -DJSasso (talk) 18:53, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
50/50 will be the most likely result. GoodDay (talk) 19:38, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
I think we can safely close this as "No Consensus". Blueboar (talk) 22:36, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

I've just discovered this and I see that few if any of the other music editors (many of whom use diacritics) have so far participated. Please keep this open for a another week or two. --Kleinzach 22:28, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm a music editor and I participated. Rlendog (talk) 02:49, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Pace GoodDay, well over half of all users are now in support. --Kleinzach 08:12, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Only because of the international canvassing described elsewhere that invalidates the entire poll. Absconded Northerner (talk) 08:14, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Half of all users? You mean half of the teensy weensy amount who have come here to look. And that's because of canvassing. And the number means virtually nothing... this is not a vote. Fyunck(click) (talk) 08:23, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Good faith[edit]

I cannot in good faith with allegiance to wikipedia's rules, policies, and guidelines ever implement this policy because it seeks to dismantle the way this encyclopedia has been conceived throughout its existance. Who wants to sign onto my pledge?SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 04:10, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

"Pledge"? How about we just agree and shake on it? -GTBacchus(talk) 04:35, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
Okay, that's fine as well.SaysWhoWhatWhenWhereWhyHow? (talk) 14:59, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Suspected canvassing[edit]

WP:Canvassing Warning... (see talk page) Blueboar (talk) 15:33, 24 July 2011 (UTC) Moved here from poll as it's not related to any specific votes. HeyMid (contribs) 11:02, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.