Wikipedia talk:Article titles

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When the COMMONNAME is never used in English sources... .what am I missing?[edit]

Can someone explain to me how a name not used in any English sources qualifies as a title of a Wikipedia article per COMMONNAME?

See: Talk:1._divisjon#Requested_move_27_November_2018.

Thanks, --В²C 18:39, 18 December 2018 (UTC)

See WP:UE: "If there are too few reliable English-language sources to constitute an established usage, follow the conventions of the language appropriate to the subject". RGloucester 18:47, 18 December 2018 (UTC)
However, having taken a cursory glance at Google News and Google Books, it seems that "Norwegian first division" is not an invented name, but actually quite common when referring to this subject...seems that was a pretty bad RM. RGloucester 18:55, 18 December 2018 (UTC)
Exactly, and it's being used as a precedent in other cases to justify modifying other titles and references in articles, so I thought rectifying this was a rather urgent matter. But nobody else seems to care. --В²C 19:07, 18 December 2018 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the available options are either WP:MR or waiting some time...and I don't think MR will produce a desirable result. RGloucester 19:11, 18 December 2018 (UTC)
Thankfully, the original closer relented and reverted, so the original RM discussion is open again. Talk:Norwegian_First_Division#Requested_move_27_November_2018. --В²C 19:36, 18 December 2018 (UTC)
For once, common sense seems to have won the day on Wikipedia... RGloucester 20:09, 18 December 2018 (UTC)

RfC on naming guidelines when a person has plead the Alford plea, whether the parenthetical disambiguator "(criminal)" should be used[edit]

Should those who have plead the Alford plea in a court of law have their articles parenthetically disambiguated with (criminal)? 23:52, 7 January 2019 (UTC)

A bit of background:

The Alford plea is a plea in the court of law, which means the defendant pleaded "guilty" to save themselves from worse punishment. This plea is mostly plead in murder or manslaughter cases where. The evidence against them is so convincing, that the court would find them guilty (and the judge does not dismiss the trial) and if they pleaded "not guilty" they may face punishment such as the death penalty, so scared them into pleading guilty for a lesser sentence.

Take the article Michael Peterson (criminal). He was convicted of murder, but then because an expert witness in the case was found to have provided false and inaccurate information on other cases the court gave him a retrial. In this retrail he plead the Alford plea and subsequently was sentenced to 86 months in prison with credit, so was released from jail has he had served longer than that.

Therefore, the defendant has only plead "guilty" to save themselves, but still think they are "not guilty". This raises the question: Does pleading the Alford plea make someone a "criminal" in the eyes of the wiki?

This was brought to my attention through the discussion I had with Gazeboist on my talk page and am opening on their behalf. Some important points in their message to me:

it is not reasonable to describe him as "convicted", despite the Alford plea, due to the nature of an Alford plea and the post-conviction relief process in the United States
The Alford plea theoretically requires that there be enough evidence to convict a defendant, but in practice it merely requires that the prosecution have enough evidence that a judge will not dismiss the case before trial (as happened in this case). It amounts to an agreement to leave the case perpetually in the state it was in after the conviction was thrown out: Peterson asserts his innocence, but the claim has effectively never gone to trial. The assertion that Peterson is a "criminal" or "murderer" has been found *provable* but it has not been *proven*.

Please indicate your support/oppose to having the Alford plea be justification for the "criminal" parenthetical disambiguation. Comments are also welcome.

  • Support: Alford plea IS justification for the "criminal" parenthetical disambiguation
  • Oppose: Alford plea is NOT justification for the "criminal" parenthetical disambiguation

pinging those involved in the recent RM. @Ravensfire, TheGridExe, SnowFire, Born2cycle, Gonnym, and Dlohcierekim: Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 23:52, 7 January 2019 (UTC)

@The Grid: Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 23:53, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Alford plea being justification i tried to remain neutral in the proposal, but feel that the Alford plea in it's very description is basically the defendant to pleading "guilty but only because i fear worse punishment". Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 23:56, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Alford plea being justification for using (criminal) in title. I'm open to being persuaded otherwise, but here's my thinking: out job is to reflect the real world, not judge it and override it. If in the real world a person is legitimately known as a criminal, then that justifies our identifying that person as such, even in their title as disambiguation if that is what they are known for. My understanding is that anyone who pleads to a lesser crime is still a criminal. Right? So identifying them as a criminal is fine. --В²C 01:10, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
    To clarify: Just because someone uses the Alford plea doesn't mean we must, nor does it mean we can't, use criminal as disambiguation. It all depends on what the person is best known for per usage in reliable sources. --В²C 19:49, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Support the proposal, opposing hair splitting until someone finds legal source which do this kind of hair splitting. Merriam-Webster's one of the definitions is "a person who has been convicted of a crime". @Dreamy Jazz: - this may also mean pleading "guilty but only because i was so badly framed and my lawyer sucks" and many other things. Staszek Lem (talk) 01:18, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
    • It's easy to miss, but the Alford plea article itself mentions disputes over whether an Alford plea is more similar to a classic guilty plea or a Nolo Contendere, which results in a criminal conviction but has different consequences for follow-on civil litigation.Gazeboist (talk) 07:15, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. An "I'm actually innocent" plea-bargain deal isn't at all what criminal means except in a very narrow pseudo-legalistic sense (in which a few dictionaries mistakenly treat it as synonymous with convict). This is not the sense by which about 99.99% of readers interpret the word.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  02:17, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Mu We aren't nearly as interested in what the person says about themselves, as in what reliable sources say about them. If the person plead guilty, and yet reliable sources later write that they didn't actually do it, but said so in order to cover for someone else, or because they were mentally ill, or because they were misled by their lawyer, or a hundred other reasons, we don't call them criminal. If the person was never convicted, or even never tried, and yet reliable sources call them the leader of the Mafia, or the Mexican drug cartel, we do. --GRuban (talk) 02:28, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per GRuban above. Like everything else on WP, we must bear in mind WP:V and WP:SYNTH. If multiple reliable sources call someone a criminal, we are justified in doing so; otherwise we are not justified in synthesizing Alford plea=criminal. Station1 (talk) 06:07, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose along the lines of SMcCandlish's point. There's a case somewhere in the courts of appeal where it's "guilty but only because the guards beat me up this morning". The ultimate question here is whether we think a "criminal" is (a) someone who has committed a crime or (b) someone who has been convicted of a crime. Someone who takes an Alford plea is (b), but the plea is no more evidence of (a) than the lack of dismissal. And I think that, whatever the opinions of Merriam-Webster, most people read "criminal" (and unfortunately "convict" as well...) as (a). I'd also like to reiterate a note I made over at WP:LAW that the Alford plea article needs some attention from a relevant expert (which I am not, although I do have a casual interest in law), both for readability and for neutrality. (And thanks to @Dreamy Jazz: both for making the RfC and for teaching me how to ping people properly :p)Gazeboist (talk) 07:15, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Clarification - my understanding is if you're voting Oppose you're saying that we cannot use (criminal) in the title for a person use uses the Alford plea. But that doesn't jive with the comments following several Oppose !votes here. This is very confusing. --В²C 18:13, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Mu, this question is malformed, but if you insist my position is closer to "support" in the sense that I think Peterson's case specifically merits a (criminal) disambiguator per the original RM. What matters, per GRuban, is what reliable sources say about somebody. It's possible to have somebody who was straight-up convinced as guilty, no special plea involved, who would be grossly inappropriate to have a (criminal) modifier; it's possible to have somebody who was never tried in court nor punished justly have a (criminal) modifier. An Alford Plea is evidence in support of a (criminal) disambiguator, weakly; unlike SMcCandlish and Gazeboist, it is not an "I'm actually innocent" plea bargain, it is an admission of guilt. This is more of a footnote, however, that assures the title doesn't fall afoul of WP:BLP; the actual reason the "criminal" modifier is used for Peterson is because that is overwhelmingly his only source for his notability, and how newspapers and reliable sources have covered him - all in relation to the murder which he was convicted of. (And as a side note, he sure seems guilty as hell from my knowledge of the case as well as that of some friends that live in the area, although my feelings are irrelevant.) More importantly, we don't have anything else to use for Peterson - he wasn't notable as anything else. I recommended (born 19XX) as a fallback disambiguator for cases where the only notability is criminal-ness and the relevance of (criminal) is more contested. As an example, there are various bad-old-South "trials" that happened in the Jim Crow era where they hanged random black people in the area of a crime, and regardless of the conviction; such cases would generally be presented by modern reliable sources as more being victims or bystanders in the wrong place, not as actual criminals. So. Reliable sources first (but Alford plea is usually a RS in favor of criminal). SnowFire (talk) 18:44, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
    • An Alford plea is explicitly not an admission of guilt. This is quite literally the only thing that renders it distinct from a regular guilty plea. It is a statement that the accused believes for whatever reason they would lose or are dangerously likely to lose if brought to trial, but claims that they did not commit the crime in question (or sometimes, as in this case, that no crime occurred).Gazeboist (talk) 20:44, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
    • As a further note to Peterson: he is notable not just as someone convicted of murder but as someone whose murder conviction was overturned on evidentiary grounds. It was in this context that I heard about him in the first place, and I at least was trying to emphasize that particular case in the broader Alford plea discussion as well. That said, the goal here is to avoid re-litigating the Peterson article specifically, so I'm not going to get into the weeds on the subject.Gazeboist (talk) 20:48, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Mu The issue is not "do we ourselves decide to call them a criminal based on whether or not we think the Alford plea makes them a criminal". We should use terminology that reliable sources consistently use. We don't make our own decisions, we reflect existing scholarship. I am neither a qualified lawyer or legal expert, nor do I care what an Alford plea is or is not. People who write actual reliable sources do that for me. I just have to write Wikipedia articles to reflect what those reliable sources say. --Jayron32 19:03, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
    • Agreed. I've clarified at my !vote accordingly. Thanks. --В²C 19:49, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Support the criminal classification but I think we knew that already in terms of previous discussions on the Michael Peterson talk page. There's multiple Michael Petersons and not much was really found for his works as an author before the death of his second wife. – The Grid (talk) 19:20, 9 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Close? I suggest this proposal/discussion be closed. Because of how it was presented it's not entirely clear who is supporting/opposing what and drawing anyone else into this quagmire just wastes their time. --01:00, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
Also the question has been unasked twice so far. Herostratus (talk) 01:47, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Moo Nutty cow.svg But I mean what are you going to call the subject (assuming that disambiguation is required)? If the person notability is mainly connected to something else, fine, you have "Pinckney Pruddle (actor)" who also pled to some crimes. But if his main notability is the crime(s), and you don't want to use "(criminal)", what are you going to use? "Pinckney Pruddle (convict)"? Or what? Herostratus (talk) 01:47, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
    • I presume it would be decided on a case-by-case basis but if "criminal" was not acceptable then I don't see how "convict" could be. Never-the-less moot since no one is supporting the idea and I wish somebody would just close this discussion and end the misery. --В²C 19:38, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. We label people criminals when they are convicted of a crime. If the vast majority of reliable sources dispute that a crime occurred, we say that, but otherwise we stick to WP:MNA. Many innocent people plead guilty; why would we make an exception for the Alford plea? What is so special about it? This is POV in my opinion, because convicted criminals who had pleaded not guilty are called criminals in their article titles. Therefore, in order to avoid being called a criminal on Wikipedia, you simply have to plead the Alford plea to generate confusion instead of a not guilty plea to exonerate yourself. (I am not watching this page, so please ping me if you want my attention.) wumbolo ^^^ 13:28, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. The fact that someone maintains their innocence in making a plea is not proof of innocence. It is important to remember the flip-side of the equation, which is that the subject who makes an Alford plea only got to the point of making one because the authorities believed there to be enough evidence to charge them with a crime, and because the subject himself thought the evidence was enough to convict them of the crime. Ergo, this isn't a case of us deciding to label an innocent person as a criminal, but of us deciding to label as a criminal a person against whom there must be fairly strong evidence of a crime. bd2412 T 14:11, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment - Hmmm... I think we may be focusing on the wrong question here. Instead of asking: are we allowed to use the word “criminal” as a disambiguator, we should be asking: is there a better disambiguator that we can use? Most of the time there will be. If nothing else, we should probably be more specific. For example: “XXX (embezzler)” or “YYY (serial killer)”. Blueboar (talk) 14:58, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
    • I agree with this. "Criminal" is on the generic side. bd2412 T 11:53, 14 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Gazeboist and others. Also, as Jayron32 says, we should be guided by what RS say about people, especially in somewhere as prominent as the title of an article. (Summoned by bot) HouseOfChange (talk) 04:44, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Support per bd412. If there are serious doubts about applying the general rule to a particular person, we can decide otherwise, but an Alford plea is a guilty plea legally speaking. Calidum 04:56, 20 January 2019 (UTC)

Explanatory supplements to this policy. Wikipedia:Specialized-style fallacy[edit]

Is Wikipedia:Specialized-style fallacy and explanatory supplement to this policy? If yes, this policy should point to it, prominently. If no, that page should not make that claim. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 14:40, 10 January 2019 (UTC)

  • It's an essay that does not reflect community consensus. It's not explanatory supplement to this policy, and it should not make that claim. --В²C 17:42, 10 January 2019 (UTC) Reconsidered. See below. --В²C 17:57, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Upon reading it more carefully I realized I misunderstood what it was saying when I first skimmed it. I think some examples would help make its meaning more obvious. But my understanding now is that when there is a conflict in style about how a particular term is presented between general reliable sources and reliable sources that specialize in the area of the term in question, this essay says WP should follow usage in the general sources. I think that does reflect community consensus and is consistent with this policy page, etc. --В²C 17:57, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
  • It is a valid essay... but I am not sure if it should be marked as a “supplement”. I note that SmokeyJoe has asked the exact same question at WT:MOS... Come on smokey, you should know better than that... asking the same question in several places opens the door to accusations of forum shopping (not saying you are forum shopping, just saying that double posting gives that impression.) Blueboar (talk) 18:28, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
Whether it's a supplement to MOS is a separate question from whether it's a supplement to WP:AT, and it's appropriate to raise each question at each talk page accordingly. --В²C 18:49, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
Blueboar, two separate independent questions. Should WP:AT link to the essay? Should WP:MOS link to the essay? I think “possibly yes” for sure, unlike the three claims I removed. The MfD is definitely not going anywhere. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:09, 14 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes! – it explains clearly that we put more weight on sources written for a general audience, and pay less attention to "official" and "specialist" sources that have their own odd styles often. Dicklyon (talk) 07:39, 11 January 2019 (UTC)

proposal to change wording[edit]

Withdrawn by nom. --Jayron32 20:12, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

  • Although official, scientific, birth, original, or trademarked names are often used for article titles, the term or name most typically used in reliable sources is generally preferred.

altered to

  • Although official, scientific, birth, original, or trademarked names are often used for article titles, a term or name most typically used in reliable sources is generally preferred [also available].
changes: "… reliable sources is generally preferred" [also available]; definite to indefinite article at "term or name". Notes and proposal, cygnis insignis 07:32, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
I see this as inconsistent with the rest of page, a sort of unspoken clause. cygnis insignis 07:38, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Opposed - the point is that we actually do prefer the most commonly used name over less commonly used names... even when the less common name is “official” or “scientific” etc. Blueboar (talk) 11:46, 14 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Blueboar. Preferring the "name most typically used" is the current policy. This request is not just a proposal to change the wording, but to upend the policy in favor of, apparently, a free-for-all. bd2412 T 11:52, 14 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose this change; titles must satisfy as far as possible all the criteria of AT, including this one as currently worded; the proposed change is far too open-ended. (However, the current text, Although official, scientific, birth, original, or trademarked names are often used for article titles, the term or name most typically used in reliable sources is generally preferred, carries the implication that the term or name most typically used in reliable source isn't an official, scientific, birth, original, or trademarked name, which just is not true.) Peter coxhead (talk) 11:58, 14 January 2019 (UTC)
    Peter coxhead, thank you, because that is the clause I think is being exploited to a preference of RS. The omission of sources characterised as 'scientific' is at odds with our policies on reliable sourcing. Would you be agreeable to a proposal that omitted 'scientific', which is interpreted as what is, by a populist definition, 'not english'? cygnis insignis 12:42, 14 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. My experience of RM discussions is that “the term or name most typically used in reliable sources is generally preferred” leaning to “strongly preferred”, quite the opposite direction to the proposal. Official technical and trademarked terms are avoided if there is a common term used in reliable sources. And I think this better suits all readers, matching the RCOGNISABILITY criterion. Technical and narrow experts always know the common terms, and ordinary readers know the technical common terms but not the official technical trademarked terms. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 12:06, 14 January 2019 (UTC)
*WP:RECOGNISABLITY, ftfy cygnis insignis
Constantly fighting with autocorrect on mobile devices, my apologies. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 14:19, 14 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Withdraw proposal, I had not properly considered the impact outside of scientific and verifiable sourcing of nomenclature, and think my concern can be addressed in another way. cygnis insignis 12:48, 14 January 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Advice, please[edit]

Do we allow article titles to be rendered solely in non-roman scripts? Ο_Κακός_Ο_Λύκος Tony (talk) 11:15, 18 January 2019 (UTC)

I don’t think it is disallowed ... but it would be extremely rare. What do English language sources that discuss this album do? Do they translate the album title into English (thus using roman script), or do they routinely present it in Greek (using Greek script)? We want our article title to be Recognizable ... so, we should do what the majority of sources do. Blueboar (talk) 12:40, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
It is indeed disallowed. See WP:UE – "Names not originally in a Latin alphabet, such as Greek, Chinese, or Russian names, must be transliterated". There is nothing wrong with an article title in Greek, but it must be transliterated into the Latin alphabet. Our article titles need to be type-able, and indeed, readable. RGloucester 16:42, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
Just to clarify, the article should be at the English-language, Latin-alphabet title but may have a redirect from the alternate script title. The primary title, however, should be in English. --Jayron32 20:09, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
If there is no common English name, the transliteration can be used. I suspect that's the case here. RGloucester 00:41, 19 January 2019 (UTC)