Wikipedia talk:Article titles

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Full disclosure: I came to this page again from a discussion at Talk:May 1968 events in France. This edit by me is not related to any of the arguments from that discussion, however. —Sangdeboeuf (talk) 02:14, 15 November 2019‎ (UTC)

Facebook name change[edit]

 You are invited to join the discussion at Talk:Meta, Inc. § Name change. Following Facebook's name change, some article title folks may want to share thoughts there. Cheers, {{u|Sdkb}}talk 20:08, 28 October 2021 (UTC)

RfC: changes to WP:COMMONNAME to accommodate individual's preferred name after court-ordered name change, marriage or divorce[edit]

Wikipedia:Common Name is an officially policy regarding how (English) Wikipedia should title articles about subjects. There has been contention over the years about how the Wikipedia community should title individuals and whether their preferences should have any influence on its naming. As of right now, a person's preference is not a factor and the only factor what whether reliable sources refers to the individual. High profile debates regarding individuals name have included Hillary Clinton (formerly titled Hillary Rodham Clinton]]). This discussion is particularly pertaining to when an individual legally changes their name via court order, marriage or divorce. Should we allow an exception or create a new policy/guideline that titles articles based on the personal preference of the person and take in account life events such as legal name changes? The reason I would like to bring this up is because there does not seem to be much consistency about this, probably because WP:COMMONNAME is decided on a base by base case. Currently, there is contention regarding Kanye West and whether the page should reflect his new legal name of Ye (here). This page has not been moved but it has been under discussion. This is comparable to other recent high profile name changes: Hailey Baldwin to Hailey Bieber, Melinda Gates to Melinda French Gates, MacKenzie Bezos to MacKenzie Scott, Facebook, Inc. to Meta Platforms, and other discussions in the past such as Caitlyn Jenner and Chelsea Manning. Some pages have been moved quicker than others, i.e. when it involves transgender individuals. Relevant topics related to this RfC are WP:NAMECHANGES, MOS:AT, MOS:BOLDLEAD, WP:SPNC, WP:NCP and MOS:DEADNAME. Any other editors who wanted to add any more relevant information and comments can below. Me opening this discussion should not be interpreted as support or opposition to any proposed changes. cookie monster 755 00:10, 30 October 2021 (UTC)

  • Comment my personal opinion is that the sources should be our guide unless there is a very good reason (for example dead naming, which we know is a very sensitive issue for those concerned). In most cases, it's unlikely that (a) sources would differ that much from subjects' personal preferences and (b) that subjects would mind too much even if they did. For example, I was watching a children's reading hour during the lockdown which included a passage by Meryl Steep. But she had put herself up on the video call as Meryl Gummer, using the surname of her husband. Perhaps that's her legal name, perhaps it isn't. But clearly there's no way that using that name would be correct for us, given the overwhelming usage of Meryl Streep. Of course, if sources are split then you have to make a decision, and subjects' personal preferences then weigh much more heavily. But that's pretty much the case anyway, we don't need a change in policy to do that...  — Amakuru (talk) 00:29, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Comment - It always annoys me, when the RM route is bypassed & unilateral page moves are done, in the name of WP:COMMONNAME. GoodDay (talk) 00:32, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose any special credence given to “court ordered” or “legal name” as this crosses the line into primary source sleuthing. Instead, rely on reputable secondary sources, and expect them to recognise court orders or legal name, or don’t mention court orders or legal names. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:04, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose Current policy is not broken it does not need to be fixed. - Nick Thorne talk 01:49, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose Existing policy is OK and would normally allow for this.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:45, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I'm with the users above. We have sourcing policies and guidelines which specify significant coverage in reliable secondary sources independent of the subject. We have formal processes for page moves at a local level. I see no reason to change any of these existing !rules for this special case. I'm sensitive to issues related to deadnaming, but there's something like attempting to "right great wrongs" here. BusterD (talk) 06:59, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Works OK now. Who cares what some judge says. Who cares about what the subject says. Some consideration should be given to BLP on the margins. If the sources are fairly close and the name is a pejorative (Fatty Arbuckle say) that the subject doesn't like, OK. Otherwise, usually no. (Deadnaming is an exception, that's special issue and can be treated differently.) Herostratus (talk) 14:12, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Support Common name is inconsistent and arbitrary and can easily be trumped by other policy such as name changes. Showiecz (talk) 14:17, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Agree with User:Showiecz that common name is inconsistent and arbitrary - however, I think it should be "trumpable" by any sensible rationale and it's hard to see how the proposed change is going to help. Deb (talk) 16:04, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose WP:NAMECHANGES is already a part of the WP:COMMONMANE policy, if reliable sources take a person's change of name seriously, then we will follow. If they don't, then these sources are accountable (via their editorial policies) to the subject directly. We shouldn't be trying to second-guess how reliable sources respond to every personal preference that can be expressed. IffyChat -- 17:34, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
  • @CookieMonster755: what is your brief and neutral statement? At over 2,100 bytes, the statement above (from the {{rfc}} tag to the next timestamp) is too long for Legobot (talk · contribs) to handle, and so it is not being shown correctly at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Wikipedia policies and guidelines. The RfC may also not be publicised through WP:FRS until a shorter statement is provided. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:44, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
    @CookieMonster755: Are you going to fix this, or am I going to pull the whole RfC? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 21:11, 17 November 2021 (UTC)
  • I think WP:NAMECHANGES is adequate as written, but I do wonder if in practice it is followed enough. -- Calidum 21:11, 30 October 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If it ain't broke... -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:29, 3 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose There are times where this is appropriate, and times when it is not. It's best to not be prescriptive and allow sourcing to figure out which way we should take it (eg the media still widely calling Kayne West "Kayne West", a strong sign we should not be moving it just because he got a court name change). --Masem (t) 13:34, 3 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Support. I think it's somewhat ridiculous that we can't make case by case exceptions at the very least. Ye has been outspoken about West being a slave name for him (noted in the leaked songs Last Name [literally an entire song about it] and Chakras [Kanye gave up the West / Kanye to Yeezy / Maybe just Ye / Fuck a slave name] and him saying "West is my slave name" at a 2013 NYC listening party for his album) and I think that if transgender people are able to change their names to better reflect themselves and make themselves more comfortable, those who are publicly noted about their new legal name being spiritually important to them should be accommodated. GREENPROCYON (talk) 18:07, 4 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The guideline is just fine as it is. TheAmazingPeanuts (talk) 12:40, 6 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose I think case by case basis is how it should be done. in my opinion, Kanye West is still wp:commonname, but Mackenzie Scott is was a WP:SIGCOV topic, and should have been changed. Signed, I Am Chaos (talk) 06:43, 13 November 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose @User:CookieMonster755 most of the guidence you list above is from the style guideline, not the WP:article title policy and its subsiduary naming conventions (guide lines). The policy is quite clear "follow the sources Luke". In November 2011 wording was agreed to cover this issue, by giving more weight to the name used in reliable sources published after a name change, and it has been in the AT policy since then in one form or another. It is consistent with WP:COMMONNAME and in practice give useful guidence in this area. The odd exception are best dealt with case by case. — PBS (talk) 18:54, 23 November 2021 (UTC)
  • It can certainly be taken into account just like what companies prefer to be called but what independent sources do should probably still be most important especially given that they are quite likely to use the subject's preferred name if the subject makes that clear. Crouch, Swale (talk) 19:04, 23 November 2021 (UTC)

Title case in other namespaces[edit]

At Wikipedia talk:Principle of Some Astonishment#Requested move 30 October 2021 it is being claimed that an essay can use title case rather than sententious case. Crouch, Swale (talk) 18:41, 1 November 2021 (UTC)

En dashes vs. hyphens in articles about wars[edit]

MOS:ENBETWEEN says to use an en dash instead of a hyphen when referring to wars with two opposing sides in its name. However, I noticed that a lot of articles about wars use the hyphen instead in their titles and leads, and when I say a lot, I mean a lot. To name a few: Russo-Ukrainian War, First Sino-Japanese War, Franco-Visigothic Wars, Anglo-Scottish Wars, Greco-Persian Wars, Italo-Ethiopian War of 1887–1889, Anglo-Nepalese War, ... This is clearly a wide-ranging problem, but I fear that finding and changing every one of those article titles would be extremely tedious. So, what should we do about this? InfiniteNexus (talk) 04:43, 2 November 2021 (UTC)

Using "(murderer)" as disambiguator in BLP titles[edit]

Is it ok to use "(murderer)" for disambiguating the article title about a living person, assuming this person received a conviction for murder? For example, Eric Smith (murderer). I understand that WP:DEATHS recommends titles like "Murder of..." for an event. But still I wonder if there might be a better disambiguator in such cases.VR talk 19:17, 2 November 2021 (UTC)

If the disambiguator accurately identifies what the subject is notable for, uniquely from other uses of that name, it’s the right one. —В²C 19:44, 2 November 2021 (UTC)
Yes. If they were convicted of murder and that's primarily what they're notable for. -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:28, 3 November 2021 (UTC)

Use of primary sources to justify a name change[edit]

An interesting point has been raised at Wikipedia talk:Official names#Name changes.

I have always believed that following a name change, a corporate rebranding for example, we required evidence that reliable secondary sources had adopted the new name before moving the article.

But a good case has been made that this is contrary to policy, and that adoption of the new name by primary sources is sufficient under WP:NAMECHANGES.

This flies in the face of commonsense as far as I can see, so perhaps the policy needs clarification? Or is it being misinterpreted? How exactly?

Other views? Andrewa (talk) 10:48, 12 November 2021 (UTC)

There's a difference between the official/legal name of something/someone, and the name that is most commonly used to refer to it/them. We use the latter for article titles. Paul August 21:36, 12 November 2021 (UTC)
Exactly. But to what extent do we consider the name that is most commonly used to refer to it/them in primary sources? That's the question. Andrewa (talk) 10:36, 14 November 2021 (UTC)
  • I was hoping somebody else would weigh in here, but since that hasn't happened, and since we agree something needs clarification, I'll reply here. I don't think there's a problem with WP:NAMECHANGES. Immediately after a corporate rebranding, it won't be possible to say that RSs routinely use the new name. On the other hand, if after some time, there is consistent use by primary sources and there's just no coverage by secondary sources, then de facto the common name has changed and we should follow suit. If secondary sources do continue to the use the old name, then we give them preference in accordance with our general policy.
I think we can bit a bogged down on what is actually a simple point. A thing's common name is what people commonly call it. We like to put our articles at that name, because that's where we expect users to look for them. According with our general practice, we establish what something is commonly called by looking at usage in RSs (rather than, say, relying on our own usage, which may not be representative). Usually if something changes its name, usage follows the change, but sometimes it doesn't, e.g. if the old name was particularly iconic or the new name is cumbersome. So we have a policy which tells us, in effect, to wait and see. The policy isn't establishing some higher bar for changing an article's name than for naming a new article.
The RM at Magic Springs and Crystal Falls is a good example of a reasonably common situation, where something fairly obscure changes its name and usage by seconardy sources is hard to establish. The name changed 5 years ago. Since then, there has been ample and consistent usage in primary sources of the new name. Unsurprisingly, the amusement park isn't generating steady third party coverage, and it doesn't appear that usage either way can be shown by seconary sources. While we can't be completely sure what people down in Arkansas are actually calling it (I would guess Magic Springs, both before and after the name change), the ubiquitous primary coverage strongly suggests the new name is established by now. A user who, say, is invited to the park and wants to find out about it, is going to look for it under its current name. If we were creating a new article, I don't think anyone would advocate for putting it at the old name. Havelock Jones (talk) 10:34, 17 November 2021 (UTC)
Disagree with several points here, but thank you for contributing. I was also hoping to get third party input! Andrewa (talk) 00:26, 18 November 2021 (UTC)

I'm basically with Havelock Jones here. While having secondary sources that affirm the name change is desirable, those may not be readily available. For many obscure organizations and companies, we have articles created years or even decades ago, often based on a handful of then-actual sources. As Havelock Jones points out, if something relatively obscure goes on to change its name, it is highly unlikely that people (and whichever secondary sources may eventually get to them) will persist calling it by the old name. I do not think it is fair to disregard primary sources (typically, the organization website and social network accounts) and to deny the requested move just because the proposer did not supply enough evidence in form of secondary sources. Just use common sense. No such user (talk) 10:13, 18 November 2021 (UTC)

If a company is so obscure that there no cover in secondary sources then is it notable enough to warrent an article? Any commersial company traded on a stock exchange will generate news coverage. The UK, and I assume almost any other modern first world contry, publishes lists companies with directors, turnover etc in the public domain, which can be used to verify a change in name of a limited liability company, charity etc.
I agree that the wording in WP:NAMECHANGES read as a stand alone section was not as clear as it could have been, and so I have clarified it. It is actually a subsection of the link to the section at the end of the paragraph "as described above in "Use commonly recognizable names.", and when read in context, "reliable sources" in the whole section actually means "independent, reliable English-language sources". To read it any other way would introduce the ambiguity, so I have made the implicit explicit (diff). — PBS (talk) 21:21, 26 November 2021 (UTC)
I disagree with the change. Linking WP:SOURCES borders on instruction creep, and "English-language" is uncalled for. Many foreign organizations are notable, but with little to none English-language coverage. If it's a Spanish or Indonesian or Russian organization, those sources will be the first to catch up with the name change and are equally acceptable. No such user (talk) 21:44, 26 November 2021 (UTC)
See (this diff).
Your concerns about notable foreign people, organisations, and objects is covered in a seperate section of the policy Foreign names and Anglicization and Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English).
The "Name changes" is a subsection of Use commonly recognizable names and until relativly recently was a sententence in the main section and it has fairly recently been broken out into a more detailed subsection. I simply copied and pasted the link from the main section into the sub section so that there is no contradiction between the two sections (which can happen if the subsection is read in isolation via the link "WP:NAMECHANGES"). So your objection is not valid unless you think that the main section ought to be changed to match the wording in the sub section, because it is clear from what you say that you think that the current wording in the main part of WP:UCRN is wrong. — PBS (talk) 13:30, 27 November 2021 (UTC)

Need help/suggestions for a better title[edit]

Hello, title experts! I was wondering if any of you might have a suggestion for how to retitle the article St. Louis gun-toting controversy. A discussion has been started here. Thanks for any input. -- MelanieN (talk) 16:08, 14 November 2021 (UTC)

@MelanieN: There seems to be consensus that at that discussion that it needs a better title. You can open an RM to ? and then 'title experts' will see it at WP:RMC. Havelock Jones (talk) 10:39, 17 November 2021 (UTC)

Titles of shootings under discussion at Talk:Kenosha unrest shooting[edit]

The discussion of whether to use "Kyle Rittenhouse shootings" in a title, underway at Talk:Kenosha_unrest_shooting#Requested_move_23_November_2021, may be of interest here.

The general WP:AT question implicated there is whether shootings, bombings, or other (single) cases of lethal force applied by one person with several casualties (hence not normally describable as "shooting of [person]") can be named after the killer. This seems like something where there is already uniformity in how it is done that could be codified at AT. Sesquivalent (talk) 02:13, 24 November 2021 (UTC)

No need for an explicit rule. Follow the usage in reliable sources. -- PBS (talk) 21:26, 26 November 2021 (UTC)
A lot of WP:AT could be removed under that principle. Where there is a practice that sources and Wikipedia have converged on, pointing it out as a custom (if not a rule) is just writing down another bit of the accumulated community experience when someone notices it has crystallized. Sesquivalent (talk) 18:34, 27 November 2021 (UTC)

Clarity on dual qualifier titles[edit]

I've seen some near intractable situations created by the ambiguity of dual-qualifier titles.

Sometimes they clearly and only use the two qualifiers to narrow the topic. I.E Bulgarian folk musicians

Other times it can be ambiguous. For example, Nobel Prize winning athletes which could be:

  1. Coverage of that subset of athletes = coverage of that subset of Nobel prize winners
  2. An article about the possible cause-effect relationship between the two (in either direction)
  3. Or, both of the above, although combining them makes the wp:notability question really messy

IMO it would help things if either:

  • The title clarified which of the above that it is
  • Create some encouraged standardized place for a note (which can only be changed by a substantial consensus) to clarify that. Possibly an invisible note right after the title.

This would not only help guide / clarify for article development, but also clarify for wp:GNG purposes starting with NPP patrol and also at AFD's. For example, #1 might just require finding coverage of athletes who won Nobel prizes. #2 would require finding suitable coverage of study of the possible cause-effect relationship between the two.

Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 20:27, 24 November 2021 (UTC)

WP:AT is not and ought not to become perscriptive in the way the WP:MOS is. I presume that when you write "dual-qualifier titles" you are concerned with descriptive titles, othewise we follow usage in "independent, reliable English-language sources". However this can also be a problem with some articles based on foreign sources eg Recovered Territories probably obvious to a Polish editor, but probably not to an English speaking monoglot.
"This would not only help guide / clarify for article development" article titles are for readers not editors. So if an editor thinks a name change would benefit an articles development, then they can either be bold and move the article to a new title or initiate an RM.
There are so many combinations that depending on context could be read as ambiguous, but might not necessarily be obvious. For example are "British imigrant families", families that have emegrated to Britain or from Britain? The initial intuitive view would probably vary between someone resident in Britain or resident in Australia). I think it is better if this is handled on a case by case basis, because depending on the reader's world view many article titles could seem obvious at first sight until they read the article and realise that it can be viewed differently. — PBS (talk) 14:15, 27 November 2021 (UTC)