Wikipedia talk:Article titles

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Common name people - removing (the) pulp?[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the debate may be found at the bottom of the discussion.

The result of the discussion is: Meh. The discussion is too diffuse to be able to draw anything much from it. I have no idea how to resolve the issue, or even whether there is actually a problem to fix (it seems unlikely given the closing comments). I can only suggest that single changes are proposed (e.g. "Add Fat Boy Slim or Remove Marion Morrison"). The discussion includes several lists all of which have some support and some commentary from which unqualified support or opposition cannot easily be discerned. Guy (Help!) 11:44, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

On this I will risk bothering "Hillary Rodham Clinton" RM deliberator, Mdann52, as content in this discussion I think demonstrates arguable search anomalies (re: Liberace, Syahrini and Bill Clinton) which may, arguably, relate to a search related controversy that was raised in final stages of the HRC discussion.

We currently present:


I suggest: People


Arguably some subjects may lack some of the noteworthiness of some of the others and here I was thinking of

at least that's what I thought from looking at the looking at raw results. Arguably oddly:

Liberace (Pianist OR entertainer OR performer) gets to "Page 38 of about 376 results" (the first page of the search indicated "About 320,000 results")
Syahrini singer gets to "Page 22 of about 218 results" (the first page of the search indicated "About 320,000 results")
"Bill Clinton" democratic gets to "Page 22 of about 218 results" (the first page of the search indicated "About 20,200,000 results")
"Bill Clinton" president gets to "Page 36 of 355 results" (the first page of the search indicated "About 25,700,000 results")

Thank goodness for Ngrams (and here's a closer look at the "Beyoncé,Beyonce,Billie Holiday,Bono,Cat Stevens,François Mitterrand,Lady Gaga,Liberace,Syahrini,The Edge" end of the scale).

Alphabetical order was chosen over presentation chronologically to give better representation of people of the feminine persuasion.

I would personally prefer:


  • Beyoncé (not: Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter) who did not perform (sorry) well in Ngrams and
  • Bono (not: Paul Hewson)

on the basis that the first two relate to other specific areas of policy namely disambiguation and WP:THE.

While personally I would prefer a shorter list, other possible options include:

Some "howevers" may also be of note:

Given inclusion of Bill Clinton and Billie Holiday in the main list perhaps we could also add:

and also later add:

However we also use:

  • Gary Ridgway (despite prevalent reference being made to the "Green River Killer")
  • Peter Sutcliffe (despite prevalent reference being made to the "Yorkshire Ripper")
Ngram reference for Gary Ridgway and the Green River Killer
Ngram reference for Peter Sutcliffe and the Yorkshire Ripper

GregKaye 14:14, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

  • oppose:
    • oppose reducing this to WP:PSEUDONYM examples only
    • oppose using examples with disambiguators a few sections above where the concept is explained
    • oppose irrelevant use of Google in this context. If you don't know how to use it => stay away from it
Where this would be an improvement fails me. --Francis Schonken (talk) 16:13, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that the noteworthiness of the subjects should be a factor in this - most subjects covered by Wikipedia are on the less noteworthy end. Our examples focus on more noteworthy people not because they are more worthy of mention but because the reader is more likely to recognize the name. That said, I think that we benefit from having more examples rather than fewer. I would propose that we create an examples subpage and prominently link to it, and include on that subpage a substantially larger selection of people grouped by various factors - those commonly known by an informal name over a formal name (e.g., Bill Clinton), those primarily known by a stage name over an earlier or later-used legal name (e.g. Cat Stevens), and those primarily known by a mononym (e.g. Cher, Bono), including those more recognizable by a mononym with a disambiguator than by their legal name (Madonna (entertainer), Usher (entertainer)). bd2412 T 20:00, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Really? I thought by now people knew about WP:NCP. --Francis Schonken (talk) 20:06, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
I have in mind a page with a lot more, perhaps a few hundred examples outlining different issues. bd2412 T 20:47, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Francis Schonken:
The pseudonyms from the present list are: Bono, "Cat Stevens" (effectively given current naming) and Lady Gaga.
The pseudonyms in the proposed list are: Billie Holiday, George Eliot, The Edge and Voltaire. Which do you object to?
  • "oppose using examples with disambiguators". Why? Most people I would guess would, by the time they have got to read WP:AT, have become reasonably familiar with a range of Wikipedia contents and would have likely become fairly familiar with article titles displaying "parenthetical disambiguation". I don't think that you need to be a genius to be able to figure out what is happening with a title such as Madonna (entertainer).
  • "Example text" I will gladly welcome instruction from any one. As it is I am reasonably confident that other examples that I have mentioned have levels of notability and familiarity that are generally higher than the likes of Liberace and Syahrini.
- "Where this would be an improvement fails me". In addition to the desire to increase the level of recognisability within list content it struck me that that the current list is pretty much the domain of the white male. It only contains one non white person (Mahatma Gandhi) and one woman (Lady Gaga). The proposed list contains: Billie Holiday, George Eliot, Madonna in addition to Mahatma Gandhi. Additionally the subjects presented have an improved level of general familiarity.
You might at least have found humour in the pulp common people reference. Tough crowd.
GregKaye 20:59, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Re. pseudonym overload, sorry, was referring to your sublist starting with Rita Hayworth, my bad. Note that all your women fall under WP:PSEUDONYM (the guideline, includes stage names like Madonna). Other ideas: Marie Curie (Marie Sklodowska-Curie); Margaret Thatcher (Baroness Margaret Thatcher; Maggie Thatcher)
Maybe get William the Conqueror (William I of England), alternatively Catherine the Great (Catharine II of Russia), in, to make clear this is about more than people of the last one or two centuries and that royals are not entirely excluded from this?
WP:AT will for many (probably even most) newbies be the first guidance relating to article titles they get to see, so no, no jumping ahead: there are plenty examples without disambiguators for this second section of the policy.
Re. number of examples: not too many in *policy*, per Wikipedia:How to contribute to Wikipedia guidance#Role of examples, 1st principle of that section. I don't oppose getting rid of a few that illustrate the same principles. Those wanting to produce an additional collection of examples: please go ahead and propose. How it should be linked from policy: probably not, maybe from WP:NCP. --Francis Schonken (talk) 21:54, 12 May 2015 (UTC)


  • replace Clinton by Thatcher
  • replace Bono by William the Conqueror
  • replace Mitterand by Marie Curie
  • replace Gaga by Chanel
  • replace Syahrini by Beyoncé
  • sort them logically: first illustrate "first name" + "last name" (Curie/Thatcher); add middle name initial (Kennedy); honorific replacing first name (Gandhi); nick replacing first name (Chanel); nick instead of last name (the Conqueror); stage names: retaining last name (Liberace), retaining first name (Beyoncé), completely different (Cat Stevens)

--Francis Schonken (talk) 23:13, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Historically at least reference to Margaret Thatcher as "Maggie" went out and, as the designation "Maggie Thatcher" did not stick, I think that Clinton better fits the bill of an example of exceptional article title use. Also, while Thatcher may have been a prime example of a successful woman on many scales, it is widely regarded that she did not do much for women's causes. She, arguably, did little with the promotion of women to her cabinets.
If this is working from the original list then this removes both clear examples of the use of pseudonyms:
  • Bono (not: Paul Hewson) and
  • Lady Gaga (not: Stefani Germanotta)
which just leaves the not greatly notable:
I think that a good example of a pseudonym/mononyn would be:
  • Pelé (not: Edson Arantes do Nascimento)
It also helps us get away from the presentation of a succession of musicians.
Strongly agree with a presentation of:
and especially of:
  • Beyoncé (not: Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter)
Unlike examples such as Madonna (entertainer), Prince (musician), Slash (musician), Rihanna etc. the Beyoncé brand has grown in recognition over time.
I appreciate the mention of categories and suggest a surname related use of:
  • Morrissey (not: Steven Patrick Morrissey) - Here are the Ngrams (for what they are worth in this situation)
While Pelé may replace Bono as a non U.S. centric representative on the list, the miserable Morrissey can be regarded to represent an extreme of one British persona.
I also think that we might borrow from the text of WP:Naming conventions (people) and present:
Most biographical articles have titles in the form <First name> <Last name>, as with Albert Einstein and Margaret Thatcher. Exceptions notably include:
Others may disagree but I think it would be possible to present just one representative example from type of use.
GregKaye 07:04, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

With all due respect... I think this is going nowhere. Under the guise of being less discriminatory, now political discrimination is used as an argument... Better make clear to whoever reads this guidance that an article title is an article title, whatever the topic. As far as article titling goes Wikipedia doesn't distinguish the good from the bad (nor in any other respect). I don't think people not grasping that should be left near policy updates. --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:33, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

With respect do you have any legitimate objection? Nothing has been done under the guise of anything. The people presented are more notable. The quotation from "Naming conventions (people)" is helpful. The examples suggested are not 89% male and 89% white. There was nothing wrong with raising a valid caution against letting the list go in a U.S. centric direction. GregKaye 08:16, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Re. "do you have any legitimate objection?" – yes: time sink with no net improvement of the policy page. I would support replacing Clinton by Thatcher (replacing one of two "democrat" "US" "male" "president"s by a "conservative" "UK" "female" "prime minister"). Whether that person did or did not do "much for women's causes" is irrelevant in the discussion. --Francis Schonken (talk) 08:45, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
One thing that exists as a constant background problem is the creation or moving of articles to titles such as "John Robert Green", "Graeme C.A. Wood", "Mary Luana Williams", "John Gibson Smith" and "John Lucian Smith" which just do not reflect reality. We need to present usable examples of good practice. I have been aware for a long time that there have been what I have viewed as inadequacies in the current presentation. Your comments have been amongst the comments that have helped develop proposed content below. I thank you for that. GregKaye 09:51, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm afraid there's no consensus to settle that at "policy" level. At guideline level that is settled by WP:NCP. Not so long ago there were extended discussions at that guideline's talk page to modify the current guidance in that respect one way or another, without much change to the wording and examples, but enough disagreement to show no policy-level consensus. So, no, again this is going nowhere. --Francis Schonken (talk) 10:10, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
With respect I relatively rarely see you in various discussions notified at WP:RM. I honestly think that an overhaul of this content is very much in order and this is what I think I have fairly proposed. GregKaye 12:17, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Big advantage, avoids bad taste like pushing guideline updates in order to skew the outcome of an ongoing WP:RM deliberation (see fine print under section header). Would like to halt this thread and subthreads as non-productive, until the WP:RM in question has been concluded. --Francis Schonken (talk) 16:13, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Francis Schonken Please do assume bad faith or censor discussion as you did, without notification, here. I have a genuine interest in clarifying these guidelines, went through a range of searches, I saw how search results related to a previous discussion, I made as ping (which may or may not have been regarded) giving notification of actions in small type. You are an involved editor. I have removed your collapse. GregKaye 10:20, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Is fine in the new section #Changes to Use commonly recognizable names section on People until any cheesy pinging is removed. Suggesting to AGF? Simple, remove the fineprint under the section header. --Francis Schonken (talk) 10:37, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
On the one hand,I agree with Francis that this seems like churn with little or no actual improvement. On the other hand I disagree about removing Bill Clinton from the list. In countless discussions of common name, Clinton is frequently used as a commonplace shorthand example. I think it is good that the examples given here reinforce such commonplace usage. olderwiser 12:20, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

Proposed list revision[edit]

Can we use the following?:


Most biographical articles have titles in the form <First name> <Last name>, as with Albert Einstein and Margaret Thatcher.
Exceptions include:

Alternatives to J.K. Rowling include authors: E.B. White – Elwyn Brooks; A.A. Milne – Alan Alexander; C.S. Lewis – Clive Staples; H.G. Wells – Herbert George; H.P. Lovecraft – Howard Phillips; J.D. Salinger - Jerome David; F. Scott Fitzgerald - Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald; S.E. Hinton - Susan Eloise; J.K. Rowling - Joanne K. Jo Rowling added a "K" for Kathleen (her grandma’s name) at her publisher’s request; E.E. Cummings - Edward Estlin; L.M. Montgomery - Lucy Maud; W.B. Yeats - William Butler; T.S. Eliot - Thomas Stearns; L. Frank Baum - Lyman; P.G. Wodehouse - Pelham Grenville. ; W.H. Auden - Wystan Hugh; J.M. Barrie - James Matthew; J.R.R. Tolkien (not: John Ronald Reuel) (there is no reason for choosing authors especially.)

Alternatives to Paul McCartney can be found at: Middle name#Some notable anglophones known by their middle names

O.J. Simpson?

Re "Bill Clinton" it might have been appropriate to have used Kate Middleton.

GregKaye 09:32, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

No, too much artists (worse than current), too much "white" "democrat" "US" "male" "president"s (no improvement). What's wrong with Golda Meir (Golda Meyerson), "labour", and changing one of the US presidents to a "conservative" example? Or with Cleopatra (Cleopatra VII Philopator) replacing one of the "artist" mononyms? Further I keep to the Cat Stevens example while it illustrates precedence over two alternatives (will ignore inappropriate "not greatly notable" argument).
Oppose dragging in NCP ground rule.
Oppose expanding list. --Francis Schonken (talk) 10:01, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

"too much artists", my proposal was to present:

and I had proposed:

and now gone back to the very notable:

  • Voltaire (not: François-Marie Arouet)

We currently use:

"too much "white" "democrat" "US" "male" "president"s"

A common thing with names that I think we should cover is the shortening of a first name to a form like "Bill", "Liz" or "Greg". This is demonstrated in the long list at: Wiktionary:Appendix:English given names. For potential replacement of Bill Clinton I would be happy for anyone to pick a preferred option from any relevant content with anyone notable starting from: Abby or Abe

The options of altered first names could include:

In place of John F. Kennedy I would be happy for anyone to pick from another option such as: Michael J. Fox, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Philip K. Dick, Cecil B. DeMille, George W. Bush, George C. Scott, William F. Buckley, Jr., John D. Rockefeller, Johnny B. Goode, James Q. Wilson, Ulysses S Grant, E.E. cummings, Lyndon B. Johnson, Susan B. Anthony or anyone else.

Re: "Cleopatra (Cleopatra VII Philopator)" could work as a straight swap for Beyoncé.

GregKaye 11:50, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

  • As long as all the examples are actually correct and illustrative, how on earth can we be spending this much time arguing which of various essentially interchangeable examples we use?  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  07:25, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Changes to Use commonly recognizable names section on People[edit]

I have added an initial note as taken from the text of WP:Naming conventions (people) and changed the seventh and the last examples presented while removing the fifth example which I considered superfluous given the use of the initial note. (However I would have no objection to the reintroduction of François Mitterrand in place of Albert Einstein if so desired).

In place of:


I have used:


Most biographical articles have titles in the form <First name> <Last name>, as with Albert Einstein and Margaret Thatcher.
Exceptions include:

The rationale here was to remove unnecessary repetition of pseudonym examples and to present an, I think, logical sequence of: first name usage, last name usage, full name usage. I hope that this provides a suitable route by which to satisfy previously stated views regarding an over use of pseudonyms and an inclusion of Beyoncé and Thatcher.

I hope that the new content will help enable an avoidance (as previously mentioned) of either the creation or adoption of article titles such as: "John Robert Green", "Graeme C.A. Wood", "Mary Luana Williams", "John Gibson Smith" and "John Lucian Smith"

I would also like to propose that a logical sequencing might present:


Most biographical articles have titles in the form <First name> <Last name>, as with Albert Einstein and Margaret Thatcher.
Exceptions include:

GregKaye 08:28, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

→ No "ground rule" of WP:NCP introduced at policy level please.

Would support reducing focus given to examples per above. --Francis Schonken (talk) 10:07, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

No one is suggesting a ground rule. We do have a policy/guideline and that simply that we "Use commonly recognizable names". I am hoping that these examples presented will not obstruct the application of this policy and will support its use. I would also be happy to remove all examples and to simply reassert that Wikipedia prefers the use of commonly recognizable name. GregKaye 10:32, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
"initial note as taken from the text of WP:Naming conventions (people)" is the "ground rule of WP:NCP" - whatever you call it (couldn't care less what you call it), don't introduce it at policy level. --Francis Schonken (talk) 10:37, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
In whatever form the information is presented I think that a very relevant inclusion would be made of: George Bernard Shaw (as known by full name) GregKaye 10:39, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
WP:MIDDLES already illustrated by George W.; WP:NCP#Nicknames, pen names, stage names, cognomens already illustrated by Clinton, Liberace, Cat Stevens. On both counts: Shaw redundant. --Francis Schonken (talk) 10:44, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

This reduced list would work for me too:

--Francis Schonken (talk) 11:31, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Comment... I have no problem with shortening the list of examples... we don't need to try to cover every possible permutation. The point of giving a few examples is simply to illustrate how COMMONNAME works... and the best examples are obvious ones. Blueboar (talk) 14:22, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Agreed but if we are not to use the <First name> <Last name> opener then I think that we should at least start with a straight forward first name - last name example. Possibilities include:
GregKaye 14:36, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

Suggest as list:


GregKaye 18:00, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

..."most obvious"...? This may come closer:

--Francis Schonken (talk) 18:24, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

For each example... I think it would be helpful to follow it with a counter example:
This would better demonstrate that in COMMONNAME situations, it is source usage that drives our decision as to which name is used. Blueboar (talk) 21:41, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Really. Jumping from reducing number of examples to doubling them. Whatever happened to "we don't need to try to cover every possible permutation"?
Reiterating first approach: this is going nowhere. --Francis Schonken (talk) 22:11, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
I think it is a nice touch to balance between the Curie and Jolie examples so as to balance the losing and the keeping of a maiden name reference. I would personally like at least one pseudonym example - Bono, Voltaire, Billie Holiday, George Eliot or similar in place of or following Bill? An example of a Mononym such as Cleopatra, Beyoncé, Michelangelo or Geronimo or similar would also debatable be helpful and, again, a use of Bono, Voltaire or other would cover this. Otherwise I think that the changes made would be of great benefit. The personal and regular use of full name is not common and I am sceptical as to whether people outside the US will have heard of William Jennings Bryan. That is another way of saying that I did not have a clue and was surprised to see similar Ngram results for Bryan and Shaw. The proposed format by Francis breaks style but uses less than a third of the physical space of the current listing which would, I think, be of great help to readers who want to take reference from information both above and below the example content. I would prefer the Mandela entry to read: Nelson Mandela (not: Madiba or Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela) but this is a small point. GregKaye 06:50, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Minor changes ok?

GregKaye 13:15, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

No. Unfolding a lengthy discussion is one thing, reading what others have contributed in it apparently another. Did you only want to unfold that part of the discussion because you think yourself thus interesting?
For my own preferences, also no: when limited to four examples, keep it to the obvious, which doesn't include the relatively rare case of mononyms. Also in that case, one alternative per example, reserving the "middle name" alternative for the last example. --Francis Schonken (talk) 13:30, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
quick comment - this relates to the suggestion of adding Madonna (entertainer), which was made earlier... I think we should try to avoid examples that need disambiguation. It adds an unnecessary element of potential confusion. Blueboar (talk) 13:56, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Francis Schonken If you want to cast question on motivation or anything else then please consider starting your discussions on user talk pages. As long as it is respectfully written etc. I will not delete your inputs. One example covers pseudonyms and mononyms while giving very clear illustration of a preferred use of "the name that is most commonly used". GregKaye 14:57, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Francis Schonken The currently presented content is inclusive or three mononym and three pseudonym examples as:

  • Bono (not: Paul Hewson) existing mononym/pseudonym example
  • Lady Gaga (not: Stefani Germanotta) existing pseudonym example
  • Liberace (not: Władziu Liberace) existing mononym example
  • Syahrini (not: Rini Fatimah Jaelani) existing mononym/pseudonym example

I would have thought the presentation of a single example of such use would be in order. GregKaye 10:42, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Use commonly recognizable names[edit]

Can this be added before Gandhi? As Colombus was more notable. (talk) 19:47, 23 May 2015 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── There is not yet a single simple <First name> <Last name> type example in the text. Possible options for this could include: *Nelson Mandela, Charles Darwin, Margaret Thatcher, David Beckham, Thomas Edison or Justin Bieber.

Francis Schonken you have previously presented I think valid objection to the use of pseudonym type examples, to the use of a long list of examples and have proposed the use of a "Navbox" format for the listings.

On this basis I inserted the compact content as follows:

This reduced the use of pseudonym examples from three to just one, reduced the entire length of the people list from nine items to four and made use of your proposed navbox format. It also gave better representation to women, to people from non-white ethnic groups and to people originating from locations other than the US and UK.

Do you have any objection to the use of this list either in this format or in a non-nav box type format?

I don't personally have an objection to the inclusion of the Columbus example but suggest that a more simple first name, last name example might be used in the list first. GregKaye 14:35, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Re. "people" examples I can agree to:

Long version:

Short version:

Reasons are explained above. The other alternatives I cannot agree to, again, for reasons explained above.

Re. Christopher Columbus: if such example were used it should be made clear that this isn't steering for anglicized names in general, e.g. by retaining the François Mitterrand example or by including someone like Leoš Janáček. I'd prefer to keep out of the WP:USEENGLISH arena with these people examples (that aspect is treated elsewhere in the policy), so oppose including Columbus and non-anglicized counterparts in the people example list. --Francis Schonken (talk) 09:06, 25 May 2015 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Francis Schonken we currently present a list with three pseudonym and three mononym examples as the equivalent of:

You have presented your preference for the use of the navbox formating, against the presentation of long lists and against the use of pseudonyms. You have since rejected the use of a list that reduced a presence of three pseudonym / mononym examples to one. I personally think that, in the context of three fairly conventional examples of UCRN application, a single slightly radical example of a clear commonname usage would be advantageous. If you want to install a version of the list with fair and prominent inclusion of a standard first name, last name examples as per WP:Naming conventions (people) then go right ahead.

However, in the context that you have pronounced the: ""people" examples I can agree to:" I think it would be fair for you to state reason for objecting to the inclusion of just one pseudonym/mononym example perhaps along the lines of:

I also think that, should we present examples like Victoria Beckham and Nelson Mandela then we should do this as:

In other examples we generally present long versions of names. We do not only use first name, last name article titles in cases where there may be exceptional alternatives.

I also think that the inclusion of an example such as: Victoria Beckham (not: Posh Spice) would lead to problems at WP:RM if this is not done with the accompaniment of an example that demonstrated the actual use of a Posh Spice type pseudonym. GregKaye 10:16, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Proposed amendments to alphabetised list[edit]

Red Slash has, I think, constructively alphabetised the UCRN list of examples of people so that it now reads: People

Discussion above has involved issues such as using examples with greater noteworthiness; using more direct <First name> <Last name> examples; using fewer psudeonym/mononym examples, and not having too many artists.

I suggest using:

to replace


to replace

This would then give a list as:

In addition I think that one way to shorten the list would be to use:

to replace

GregKaye 14:41, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

The policy should not list a redirect like J.K. Rowling. As the space-or-not between two consecutive initials is at this time somewhat contentious (and changing), see WT:NCP archives, such examples tend to be too unstable for policy-level. --Francis Schonken (talk) 14:57, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
I support most of Greg's proposed changes, with the minor (and welcome) correction that Rowling's page is at J. K. Rowling... but I can't help but think that Cleopatra's a bad example because she is so overwhelmingly known only as Cleopatra that it kind of defeats the point. Like, most people would not even begin to think that there even exists another name for her. Maybe Sting (musician) or something? Red Slash 21:56, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
I am sort of reluctant to get rid of John F. Kennedy (it's a great example of a COMMONNAME where the middle initial is almost always included... and when juxtaposed by Bill Clinton, does a lot to illustrate how WP:UCN works.) Blueboar (talk) 12:22, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
ty Red Slash I don't know what Francis Schonken had in mind with his/her proposal of Cleopatra but I personally think that this example provides an extremely valuable counterbalance to otherwise quoted article format of titles such as Diana, Princess of Wales.
ty Blueboar A lot of that third proposal was for the sakes of shortening content while providing a little more male female balance. I agree on the value of the John F. Kennedy example and have used him in demonstration of how common name may result in a lengthening from a secondarily commonly known alternative. That leaves us with François Mitterrand and Lady Gaga. These first name/last name and female examples could either be kept as they are or be changed for a single example such as like: George Eliot (not: Mary Ann Evans); Angelina Jolie (not: Angelina Jolie Pitt); Victoria Beckham (not: Victoria Caroline Beckham or Posh Spice) or, indeed, J.K. Rowling (not: Joanne Rowling) .. or someone else. I personally think that the George Eliot example would fit well in the sequence but have no strong view. Any opinions?
Francis has also proposed the use of a navbox format to which I have no objection and which is still up for consideration. GregKaye 09:16, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

How about replacing these three:

By these three:

? --Francis Schonken (talk) 11:05, 6 June 2015 (UTC)


  • oppose introduction of additional middle name examples. --Francis Schonken (talk) 09:32, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose any changes to this section. This ridiculous discussion is going on and on and on, when there is no clear consensus that anything in particular is wrong with the extant examples! This discussion has approximately doubled in length since the last time I pointed this out. It's clearly going nowhere. Please close this mess, and start over. If you feel a particular example is faulty, propose changing that pariticular example, with a rationale for doing so. This is a massive waste of time with the present "let's propose random changes to all the examples at once for a zillion different reasons" approach.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  20:43, 6 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't disagree... however I do think the current list has become bloated. A lot of our current examples were added primarily to illustrate secondary issues ...over time, editors have felt the need to add an example of a COMMONNAME that includes a diacritic, an example of a COMMONNAME that includes a middle name, a COMMONNAME that includes... whatever (as well as examples that don't include these secondary issues). I understand how we got to this state... I have fallen prey to this tendency myself.
However, I think the primary criteria for any example in this section should be that it clearly (and fairly obviously) illustrates the basic core concept of COMMONNAME. For this reason, part of me want's to be ruthless and cut the list back dramatically (to something like three or four examples). The problem will be to decide which examples to cut. Each of the "secondary issue examples" (whatever it may be) will have supporters that will not want that example to be "removed from policy"... for fear that removing it from the list will re-open old debates. I admit that I would have the same reaction to removing some of the examples... So part of me would have a hard time removing the bloat. On one hand I want to cut the bloat, yet I hesitate to actually do so for fear that doing so would open a can of worms. Not sure how to resolve the dilemma... or even if we can resolve it. Blueboar (talk) 14:45, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Italicization question[edit]

The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) is the proper name of the a League of Legends league. Should the words "League of Legends", normally italicized because it is a video game title, still be italicized? Nearly no media outlets tend to use the italicized form for the LCS anywhere. It just looks odd because half of the title is italicized and the other half isn't.--Prisencolinensinainciusol (talk) 20:47, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

  • Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Titles#Series titles seems to indicate that the current partial italicization of the article title (League of Legends Championship Series) would be acceptable. --Francis Schonken (talk) 21:03, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Agreed with Francis Schonken. We don't really care what "media outlets" are doing with regard to style nit-picks like this, because they're wildly inconsistent. A large proportion of them don't even italicize game titles, while others italicize all software titles including non-games, and others use quotation marks instead of italics, and whatever. MOS/AT's collective goal is just consistent presentation in Wikipedia, not siding with any particular off-Wiki style camp.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  09:15, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Just to give you a contrary view on Policy, which ends up with the same result... Consistency is a goal, but it is also topic specific. We absolutely do indeed care what "media outlets" (and other sources) do... If an overwhelming majority of sources present a specific name using a style that is contrary to our guidance, COMMONNAME would indicate consistently making an exception to our style guidance for that specific name.
However, in this case (as SMC notes) the sources are all over the place regarding italics , and no particular stylization standing out as being overwhelmingly more COMMON than the others. Therefor, we would not be justified in making this an exception to MOS guidance. (I agree that MOS guidance indicates that we should use partial italics). Blueboar (talk) 20:15, 7 June 2015 (UTC)
The Daily Dot is one of the few sources do use formal italicization for video game titles and they seem to use the italicization in League of Legends Championship Series. Recently, they seem to be using the name in full, opting to just say League Championship Series (not a proper noun), or just LCS. Interesting.--Prisencolinensinainciusol (talk) 22:07, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Don't just look at one or two sources... look at all of them (or at least lots and lots of them). Try to see if there is a distinct majority one way or the other. If you can detect one, then you may have a better case for arguing that this should be an exception to the MOS. Otherwise, no. Blueboar (talk) 23:10, 10 June 2015 (UTC)


Bruce Jenner was unilaterally moved to Caitlyn_Jenner. There was an RM to move it back (now archived), which was closed per SNOW within hours. I seem to be the only one concerned about what appears to me to be a blatant disregard for WP:COMMONNAME and WP:AT, but if no one else is concerned I'm not going to push it. --В²C 20:58, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

WP:COMMONNAME is not the only consideration in determining article titles. Do not treat it as such. RGloucester 21:03, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
What part of and WP:AT did you miss? All of it? --В²C 21:18, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

I think it would be good to update AT with the changes to WP:MOSIDENTITY for consistency. -- haminoon (talk) 22:41, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

WP:MOSIDENTITY does not apply to titles. Article style (MOS) in general doesn't follow usage in reliable sources nearly as much as title determination (AT) does. --В²C 22:58, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Actually... the title change to Caitlyn is perfectly in line with WP:AT (and is especially in line with WP:COMMONNAME). When the subject of an article changes name (the reason for the name change is irrelevant), we pay attention to what sources (written after the name change occurred) do. If the sources accept the name change (and begin to refer to the subject by the new name) we follow the sources and do likewise. If the sources reject the name change (and continue to refer to the subject by the old name) we do likewise. In the case of Jenner, it quickly became obvious that the sources were accepting the new name. Blueboar (talk) 00:57, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
    • Even if that is the case now, which should be clearly established on the talk age, it was not the case at the time of the change. --В²C 01:59, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Meh... Perhaps the Identity advocates jumped the gun by a day or two... but bitching about it is kind of pointless and petty by now. Again, it was fairly obvious which way the sources were going, and became so almost as soon as Jenner made the announcement. I would say no harm was done. Blueboar (talk) 02:32, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
@Born2cycle: if the subject of an article changes its name, it is reasonable to consider the usage since the change. WP:COMMONNAME, which is policy, supports the move. A confirming move discussion unambiguously supported the move. MOS:IDENTITY supports the move. And, of course, WP:NOTBUREAUCRACY, which is policy, supports doing the obvious without a formal move discussion for the sake of discussion. What exactly is the concern here? VQuakr (talk) 06:35, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, we should look at source usage after the name change when there is a name change, but moving it when it was was jumping the gun. This time it worked out okay, but it's not a good practice. Next time they should do a formal RM, or at least get a reading on consensus about source usage before making the move. --В²C 16:20, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
No, there is no need for an elaborate RM just to go through the movements. There was no RM, nor anyone suggesting one, and not a single letter printed on the name change when the Jorge Bergoglio biography was moved to Pope Francis. The case is explained in WP:SPNC, and a variant of it applies to Jenner. A little history: there was a big imbroglio over the Chelsea Manning name change, ArbCom case and all (in which the editor that had jumped the gun on moving the page was slapped on his wrists for a lot of things, but not for moving the page "too soon"). Then there were RM's, lots of them, and one that moved the page to the name preferred by the subject after an assesment of a three-person uninvolved panel. Then some of us decided we would have no more of that when the result is thus predictable. Then, after fleshing it out and boiling it down, WP:SPNC was added to WP:NCP, and Jenner's page move falls within its scope. No further entanglements are called for as far as the page move is concerned in such case. --Francis Schonken (talk) 19:12, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Something else to consider: say an editor does "jump the gun" and changes an article title "too soon"... and it turns out that the name change isn't accepted by sources after all. No real harm... It is not a huge problem if the article is at the "wrong" title for a while. Once it becomes clear that the sources have rejected the new name, it's easy enough to change our title back to the old one (which sources are using). The most we would have to do is hold an RFC (where the sources could be discussed and analyzed). There is no time limit on getting it right. Blueboar (talk) 23:23, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Ha, no, I think you misunderstood: it is still possible to jump the gun in a disorderly fashion while it is not "unavoidable" for any name change to become the new name supported by sources. Moving Hillary Rodham Clinton anywhere without a formal RM would still be considered disruptive (WP:SPNC has no clear-cut solution for that one). But clear-cut cases like Jenner don't need to be burdened by excess procedure once the unavoidability of the acceptance of the name change becomes clear (which may take somewhat more time than the "minutes" needed for a papal name). --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:37, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Easy enough? When emotions get involved WP:Status quo stonewalling keeps it far from being easy to change the title back. --В²C 00:49, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
If it is an emotional issue, wait until the emotions have had time calm down, and people can dispassionately look at the evidence of the sources. Blueboar (talk) 02:04, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
If we are conflating essays with policy now, I can just refer you to WP:STICK. VQuakr (talk) 02:01, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
How is policy being conflated with essays? Anyway, wait until the emotions calm down? It took eight years at Yoghurt/yogurt, and that was over a silly h. --В²C 05:12, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Rules like WP:SPNC are intended to have a relaxing effect on emotions: this allows us to tread more efficiently emotion-wise now than in the Manning era. Fermented milk may have needed 8 years, Manning half a year, but Jenner (including the current WP:VPP discussions and other ramifications) might be settled in a few weeks. That's how we learn from trial and error. --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:37, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

RfC on porn star article titles: (pornographic actress)/(pornographic actor) or (actress)/(actor)?[edit]

Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Pornography#RfC: Should a person who has appeared in exclusively pornographic films be described as "(actor/-tress)" or "(pornographic actor/-tress)"? Rebecca1990 (talk) 00:13, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Large RM on decapitalization[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Talk:Lindy Hop#Requested moves of the remaining inconsistent dance-related articles, 27 June 2015  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  17:36, 27 June 2015 (UTC)