Wikipedia talk:Article titles/Archive 11

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Archive 5 Archive 9 Archive 10 Archive 11 Archive 12 Archive 13 Archive 15



Are articles allowed to have contractions in its title? The only guideline I found on contractions is Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Contractions. --Silver Edge 08:30, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Video game article naming conventions - proposal

Proposed guideline -

  • Any article on a video game originally produced under copyright in a non-English language is to be located at the official title it was originally released under, until such time as an official English title is announced, by either the copyright holder, or a representative thereof. If the language of origin uses a non-Latin alphabet, the article should be located at an appropriate transliteration.
  • If more than one official English title is announced (such as between NA and EU markets, or ports/updates), the title released first is to be used unless it is overwhelmingly recognized by a new title (as in Beastorizer vs. Bloody Roar).
  • If the game has yet to be released it should be always be known at the official working title.
  • If no official title in any language has been announced (pre-release), the article should follow standard naming conventions, even if an unofficial "working-title" exists (i.e. "The Something Project", or "Something Sequel"). Foreign-language video games not under copyright that have not been given an official English title should also follow normal naming conventions.

~ JohnnyMrNinja 10:11, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

It should be mentioned that sometimes cutting the subtitle of the official title can be a good solution to avoid favoring a region over the others. For instance the Bloody Roar 2 article is named that instead of Bloody Roar 2: Bringer of the New Age (JP/EU) or Bloody Roar 2: The New Breed (NA). Kariteh 11:42, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
All sounds good. And I support the addition of Karith's idea of cutting subtitles from game titles, especially where that will help avoid conflict over the "proper" name of the game. - X201 12:58, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
I pretty much agree, but I have a question on copyright and translation. Does a copyright need to be registered in another language? For example, Square's old register of "Chrono Break" in the US (which has since lapsed) as opposed to their still current registration of "Chrono Brake" in Japan. If it is un-registered in another country, I have trouble getting around the concept that translation = unofficial. Translation by its definition is simply converting something into a different language (in this case English). Hypothetical example- if a game came out in japan only titled "Kage," and kage directly translates as "shadow," I don't see how calling it "Shadow" would be some form of fanon- unless the game was copyrighted in English-speaking countries as "Kage." Onikage725 15:22, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Last part first: Article names should not be located at translations of official names for two reasons. 1) "Direct translation" can be stretched pretty thin, and when more than one word is used in the title grammar can also come into question. Also, with translation nuance can be lost. To present a title at such variance with the official title risks presenting the game in a manner not originally intended by the company. A direct translation of "Shadow of the Colossus" would likely keep the literal meaning, but lose the figurative meaning of "shadow" (i.e. "living in someone's shadow"), as in "events caused by the very strong influence of the Colossus". 2) Most English speakers do not speak Japanese. Translation, no matter how verifiable, is at it's essence an interpretation. Somebody says that when Capcom says "A", they really mean "B". Direct and indirect translations should always be included in the opening paragraph of an article with a non-English title, but the title itself should be 100% factual, with no hint of 2nd or 3rd party interpretation.
The first part was my mistake in being unclear, and you bring up a good point. Many Japanese games are released with English titles, but have different titles in English regions. Let me clarify.
  • Above replace instances of "English title" with "title of English-language release" and "Foreign-language title" with "title of non-English-language-region release" (actually I don't know how much clearer that is...)

~ JohnnyMrNinja 04:45, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for the clarification. And I think it's clearer. Let me just make sure I've got it. "Title of English-language release" would refer to any US/UK/AU release, essentially. "Title of non-English-language-region release" would refer original releases, regardless of the language used for the title. Right? Onikage725 09:35, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm confused what you're proposing that's different from current policy. That Japanese-exclusive game titles be translated?--SeizureDog 05:41, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
The current guideline says to always use the most common English title for works of fiction. There is no specific video game naming policy so far. I am basically proposing that we only use official titles, not unofficial translations. ~ JohnnyMrNinja 06:29, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Now that you mention it, why does this pertain to video games only? What's the rationales for using different conventions than the film and novel conventions? Kariteh 14:25, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Take a look at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (films) and Wikipedia:Naming conventions (books). They are not incredibly specific when it comes to unofficial translation. Also, film and book titles are more fluid, even within the same language. It is a simple matter for a publisher or distributor to change the title of a book or film with a minimum of editing. Video game titles tend not to change once they are released, as it would require reprogramming. Books and films tend to see many reissues, each can have a different title. Video games quickly become dated and are not reissued as frequently. In other words, a video game title is something much more solid and constant than a book or film title. ~ JohnnyMrNinja 16:00, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Also, movies from foreign countries are usually referred to as "foreign movies", which is not a term usually applied to video games. Honestly, how often do most people even think that Mario is really Japanese? ~ JohnnyMrNinja 05:32, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Does this apply to other region exclusive games? like this Sword of Xuan Yuan Chinese series which would thus be moved to Xuan Yuan Jian. Kariteh 22:44, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

It's really complicated with Chinese titles. The Legend of Sword and Fairy 3 would become Xianjian Qixia Zhuan San. Kariteh 22:49, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
This is what I had always believed was common practice for WP:VG (as the Fire Emblem debates imply). The point of this proposal is to hammer out the details so that people have a point of reference for future debates. As it is, people name the articles whatever they feel like. The benefit of using official titles is lack of debate as to the best title. The downside is that it may be less recognizable than an unofficial fan translation. What do you think? ~ JohnnyMrNinja 04:46, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
I initially agreed with the proposal, but the more I think about it, the more I feel like it would be a pain in many cases (like this Chinese game). I think the current guideline should be kept after all ("the most common title should be used"). In the Fire Emblem's case, this means we'd keep Fire Emblem: Fūin no Tsurugi since it's the most common title. In that Chinese game's case, we'd also keep The Legend of Sword and Fairy 3, because it's the most common title even though it's unofficial. Sure, we might be losing a bit of nuance with translations, but isn't it better to show at least a part of the meaning, rather than using an obscure non-English title and thus not showing any meaning at all, seeing how casual readers won't understand Japanese/Chinese/etc.? Besides, as you say we will give the official title and its translation(s) in the article's lead, so this nuance point isn't a problem; it's just more convenient to use the English title in the article's name and body since the necessary naming and translation details are given in the lead. We just have to make sure the unofficial title we're using is really established (this goes for series name too). For instance Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift appears to be slightly more common than Final Fantasy Tactics A2 Fūketsu no Grimoire, but the title which should be used is probably the second one, since the first is just a trademark which (is official but) has yet to be attributed to FFTA2 in a direct, official announcement. Kariteh 08:14, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Okay... I've just realized my last sentence contradicts the rest of my post... I guess "Grimoire of the Rift" can be used after all, if we make sure to note in the article that it's what the press uses despite it not having been announced yet. Kariteh 08:23, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
I've started rethinking it somewhat too (that's why discussions are good). Honestly though, this is the rationale that is usually brought up in WP:VG discussions, so if it's wrong we need to set down why it's wrong. The problem with unreleased games is another unwritten rule, the "No information that has not been officially confirmed". Ok, the biggest problem with using official titles that are not the most common titles (even when redirects are used), is search engine hits. Search engines regard article names far higher than article content, so a popular title is more likely to be found by people looking for the game. And while Wikipedia doesn't care about hits, it does care about presenting the information in the way most-easily-accessed by readers. Conundrum.
As far as naming conventions for unreleased games, what about the condition that if the copyright holder has registered a title, this title has been notably used as the working title by reputable sources, and this title nets a comparable number of search result hits, then this should be the appropriate title of the article. ~ JohnnyMrNinja 05:32, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Sounds fine. Overall, it seems that in practice this will mean that well-known non-English games will keep their non-English titles (like the Fire Emblems) while obscure non-English games will be translated (like these Chinese games or these very old Japanese PC games in List of Square Enix games). So in the end the current guidelines are actually fine; they just need to be more accurately applied/enforced. Kariteh 08:34, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm a little concerned about the notion that all unreleased videogames should be identified as Working title, thier is no reason why a game like Halo 3 should be refered to as Halo 3 (working title) when Halo 3 is clearly the final name. Also I'll go furthur and say that thier is no reason for any article outside of titles like "untitled 3D action", to have a "working title" prefix added to them, it just looks messy. Deathawk 04:09, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry if that was unclear, it should at the "working title" (whatever the working title is), not at Working title ~ JohnnyMrNinja 04:46, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Oh ok then I'm cool with that. Deathawk 21:44, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

This whole proposal seems to me to be instruction creep and an attempt to bypass the existing naming conventions. In particular, some games are well-known by their Japanese title, and some are best known by an unofficial translation; in these debates some editors desperately want any English translation and some desperately want the original Japanese. Some games are released with different titles in different regions, and again some editors prefer one region's name over another. IMO, Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English) and other existing guidelines cover the matter well enough, and IMO Wikipedia:Naming conventions (books) is approximately what should be done with these borderline cases. In the cases where Google results are close, look for mention specifically on well-known gaming sites and forums for popular consensus on the name. And in the end, it's not really that important since redirects can and will be created for every possibility. Anomie 15:49, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. I don't know if this is commonly the case, but if some game is normally referred to by some name other than the official copyright name, then that is the name that should be used for the article title. --Serge 19:28, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
We should make sure we indicate clearly which name is official and which one is not though. Like:
The Portopia Serial Murder Case, officially known as Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken (ポートピア連続殺人事件), is a...
instead of:
The Portopia Serial Murder Case (ポートピア連続殺人事件, Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken) is a...
Kariteh 09:26, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Fictional elements in video games

  • From Wikipedia:WikiProject Video games/Article guidelines#Other guidelines "As per a very lengthy debate, full names should be used for video game character article namespaces when they appear in-game. Otherwise the common name should be used." The same goes for all fictional elements within game universes (Countries, religions, etc.)
  • If a fictional element needs disambiguation, it should be qualified with the name of the series it first appeared in (i.e. Ryu (Street Fighter)). A logical conclusion might also be to qualify with the name of the company that owns the element, as it might appear in more than one series (i.e. Ryu (Capcom)), but this should be avoided as the topic might appear to be non-fictional, or a video game itself.

~ JohnnyMrNinja 06:26, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Seems like it's a no consensus. Kariteh 10:20, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Use of military Titles

Looking to suggest that a guideline on the use of military titles be developed in the style guide. This should be standard and not vary. In non wiki style guides there are guidelines on this, this is needed here. 02:23, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Are you talking about military titles in article titles? Because we don't generally do that. As far as I know, the only articles in which we allow any sort of titles or positions in the article's title are those of Roman Catholic popes and some dynasties of Chinese emperors. --Hemlock Martinis 21:18, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Canada, Japan, Australia

With respect to this issue of US city names, I'd just like to note that Canada moved from a naming convention similar to the current US one to one in which cities were allowed to dispense with the province name whenever the name is a primary usage. Whereas we continue to argue endlessly about US cities, so far as I can tell the Canadian cities have settled into a fairly reasonable consensus. Individual article moves can be discussed on individual article pages, and people can argue specifically about the particular issues with regard to each city. It's all fairly lovely.

Japan and Australia have, iirc, somewhat similar systems to what is being proposed here - a short list of particularly important cities get to dispense with the prefecture or state disambiguation. In this case, again, there seems to be little trouble.

The idea that the best reason for the current system for US cities, which is constantly causing arguments, is that it avoids arguments, is ridiculous. Quite clearly the current system causes arguments when compared to systems that allow for exceptions, where there is far less silly argument of this sort. john k 06:26, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Except the proposal is to move all of these cities at once, and essentially changing the policy in regards to the naming guidelines of these specific cities preempting the discussion and consensus building that editors at individual city pages can come to regarding their city's naming policy. In my opinion, the only compromise here is to allow/encourage the editors for each city to take up the issue of possible city name moves. I understand that each of the cities involved had a banner, but at least in the case of Denver, a few of the editors were confused about where to take up the discussion as it seemed to be telling editors to discuss it on the individual city talk pages rather than this page, which is of course where the decision will be made from. My main point is that every city has unique circumstances which in my opinion is decided best from a community consensus of the editors of the individual city pages. Vertigo700 07:02, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
If I can add to the mess, one must consider that many contributors to a given city article come from that city itself - this added element of "moi" does much to muddle the objectivity of any "single-name-status" debate. THEPROMENADER 07:40, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Correct, I prefer this way then going page to and requesting it. I pointed it out before, but I feel a misconception here is that the proposer came up with a list of cities he feels don't need to follow the comma clause. Instead each city on this list is considered to have a stand-alone name by the AP. You (vertigo) mentioned that this goes against the current guidelines, but you do realize that several US cities are already granted 'stand-alone' status on wikipedia. And of course while consensus in the past was to hold onto the comma clause for dear life, consensus can( and does) change. New England Review Me! 12:33, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
When Canadian policy was changed, a number of articles were moved at once. At any rate, if a change in policy is agreed upon, I don't see how any of these examples (with the possible exception of St. Louis, which is mildly ambiguous with Saint Louis) would be controversial. They are the obvious cities to move if a change is agreed upon. john k 13:37, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Naming of government cabinets/ministries

I think that we should come up with a consistent standard for naming articles of government cabinets/ministries. Currently there are many variants between different countries: browse Category:National cabinets to see some of the variants. Personally I think that we should use the most explanatory and descriptive form: "Cabinet of [WP article name of head of government]", eg. "Cabinet of John Major" instead of "Major Ministry" and "Cabinet of Thorbjørn Jagland" instead of "Cabinet Jagland". When the head of government has led more than one cabinet it should similarly be named as "Third cabinet of [head of government]", for example "Third cabinet of Ruud Lubbers" instead of "Netherlands cabinet Lubbers-3".

Nonetheless I think that the word "ministry" should be replaed by "cabinet", since the word "minstry" have different meanings and could be confused with government department. This is justified by the main principle that article names should be "optimized for readers over editors; and for a general audience over specialists".

What are you thoughts on this? Should United States Cabinets/administrations also be included in this proposed naming standard? /Slarre 12:42, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

But "Cabinet" isn't synonomous with "ministry" - the Cabinet is just the central committee. A lot of the British ministry pages have all ministers listed - e.g. Labour Government 1974-1979.
Plus in some countries the "changing of the Prime Minister" is of much less significance than in others - very few posts in the Conservative Government 1922-1924 changed hands in May 1923 when Baldwin succeeded Law as Prime Minister (Baldwin even retained his existing post for three months). So we have a single list - and this follows the listings of people as distinguished as A. J. P. Taylor.
For British executives "government" or "ministry" are the only terms with any currency - hardly anyone uses "administration" (unless making a political jibe that the Prime Minister is acting like a US President, hence using US terminology).
And it's not even clear what the demarcation points for cabinets always are when the party remains in power. Sometimes there will be a significant reshuffle, which needs a new listing on the page just to allow everyone to follow it. At other times only one or two changes are made. Trying to number them as distinct and clearly delineated cabinets gets messy. Timrollpickering 13:03, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm fine with keeping the word "ministry" when appropriate, but wouldn't it be better with more consistent and descriptive naming? Eg. "Ministry of John Major" instead of "Major Ministry", just as it is named "Presidency of Ronald Reagan" and not "Reagan presidency".
I also don't see the consistency in naming some British ministries after the ruling party (eg. Conservative Government 1924–1929) while others are named after the PM (Major, Thatcher, Blair, Brown Ministry etc.). /Slarre 13:31, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Actually, So and so ministry articles pretty much always only list the cabinet. while Party Government beginningyear-endingyear is used for lists of the entire government. I'd say, in the event, that Slarre is right about the first set of articles. Articles which use "government," however, should remain where they are. (BTW, "administration" used to be used more commonly for British governments - I've definitely seen it in discussions of the 19th century). john k 13:34, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
We should use separate guidelines depending on the country. George W. Bush administration has a fixed starting point and a fixed ending point, whereas the British system is much less uniform. --Hemlock Martinis 21:22, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
But can we agree that it, in those cases that the ministry is named after the head of government, should be in the form "Ministry/Cabinet/Presidency of [name of head of government]"? (George W. Bush administration is a redirect to Presidency of George W. Bush) This is the main lack of consistency that I see in these articles. /Slarre 15:22, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
This may not be so easy for some countries, particularly those where both President & Prime Minister have an active role, or for that matter where/when there isn't a formal head of government. Great Britain/England is particularly messy pre 1721 as there were some "chief ministers" at times but a) they were really an individual court favourite - and favourites often rise and drop back - rather than a leader of a grouping and b) there are several periods where either two or more ministers in tandem were "chief ministers" or where no single minister was dominant. Would monarchs be a better point of reference here?
Even after 1721 there are periods when the government of the day was more than a one man show - Walpole in tandem with Townsend (1721-1730), Carteret (aka Granville) was the driving force in the 1742-1744 government rather than the successive First Lords of the Treasury whom history identifies as the "Prime Minister" - indeed we currently have a single page for 1742-1744 as "Carteret Ministry" rather than a 1742-1743 "Wilmington Ministry" followed by the "Broad Bottom Ministry" starting in 1744 rather than 1743; Pelham was more or less co-equal to his brother Newcastle in both said Broad Bottom Ministry (1744-1746) and what current doesn't have a page but is linked on the template as "Second Pelham", Pitt more or less really ran the Devonshire government and then was in partnership with Newcastle, the "first Portland ministry" is overwhelmingly known to history as the "Fox-North Coalition" and so forth. Trying to impose modern notions of government and Prime Minister onto 18th century politics throws up all manner of anomalies - often the key turning points were not the change in First Lord of the Treasury.
I'm not sure what the solution is though - group by monarchs up to a certain point? An ecletic mix? An arbitary use of the FLotT? Timrollpickering 22:50, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

And we should not speak of American "cabinets"; to do so would violate idiom, which in this case also reflects reality. Many Presidents have reorganized their cabinets; it is a rare American Secretary who lasts eight years. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:32, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Fictional characters

There is currently a naming debate going on Talk:Malcolm Wilkerson, regarding the correct article titles for each of the family members. Any input, esp. by users with experience in related disputes, is welcome. —AldeBaer 19:27, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Requested moves

Per much recent discussion at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (settlements) it is proposed that the following articles be moved as stated.

This move is in line with consensus at the talk page to adopt a slightly different guideline with regard to article names for certain "well known" US cities. The relevant discussion is at the page linked above. Appropriate move request tags will be placed on the talk pages of each of the involved cities. ɑʀкʏɑɴ 21:40, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Look, it doesn't really make a difference since for all these cities the City name already redirects to the article. Though someone will have to a lot of link updating...--Loodog 21:59, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
There should be no need to update links since, as you said, the proposed name already redirects to the article. In fact, it may be preferable in most cases to leave the links as they are. --Polaron | Talk 22:53, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Wicked-Strong, Unconditional Support all this proposed move does is skip highly unnecessary redirects. New England Review Me! 22:02, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I glanced at section on the settlement talk page but did not see it. It may be farther down perhaps, but i didn't see it. Can you give me a "date of a posted comment" perhaps? Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  22:04, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Check at the subsection entitled "New Proposal", although a lot of relevant discussion took place previously and may have become archived. ɑʀкʏɑɴ 22:10, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support- Eliminate redirects, yes! - Special-T 22:13, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support: These cities do not need qualifiers. If this is not agreeable to others, all U.S. cities should be in the form of CITY, STATE: i.e., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New York City, New York etc. Heimstern Läufer (talk) 22:16, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Comment: All U.S. cities as "CITY, STATE" is my preference. Anomie 22:24, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support, provided that a bot does the link updating. -Nicktalk 22:17, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
    • See my comment above. There should be no need to update links. --Polaron | Talk 22:53, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support Indifference. Again, it doesn't really make a difference, but it will make residents feel that their city hasn't been "demoted" to City, State status and robbed of its deserved notability. Of course, then everybody will want in...--Loodog 22:28, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose as always. Isn't five years of discussion more than enough? We have one good working rule for naming U.S. cities. So, of course, we argue thousands of pages over breaking it. If we had used a tenth of effort on the articles themselves, they could all be featured articles. Please don't add more inconsistency to Wikipedia. Rmhermen 22:29, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Conditional support, as part of a compromise that the overall naming guideline for communities not on the list should continue to follow the "community, state" format. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 22:44, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose For the third (or fourth) time. With redirects, there is no good reason to do this, none of these cities have ever been "lost" to anyone. It is not simpler, it is more complex as you take one perfectly good rule and make two rules out of it plus you add subjectivity by adding "well known" to the decision. The number of times this has been proposed and rejected is probably approaching a Wikipedia record. If the editors advocating this were to spend 50% of the effort on editing and adding content that they do working on this perennial loser, we'd have far more Featured Articles. --Paul 22:57, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
  • No objection -- I'd be just as happy if the guideline remained as it currently is, so my support for this is lukewarm. But for these particular cities, there is fairly good cause for them to be at the simple title. olderwiser 23:00, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose I agree with Paul, this really is adding a subjective qualifier into what should be a simple process. After this list of cities is moved to the "city only" format, what list of cities will we have to consider next? No doubt there will be unending arguments as to which cities are "well known enough" to be listed under their city names. Nothing is lost by leaving these cities where they are. --JKeene 23:20, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Comment Again with the reductio ad absurdum but... since some cities have been granted exception, this already is a subjective process.--Loodog 23:27, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
      • Does this mean you don't support the compromise and will push to have all city articles titled "city"? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 00:00, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose Subjective in nature and thus "subject" to WP:NPOV. Redirects per WP:D would be problematic to say the least. Lastly, many settlements share names (see: Springfield). Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  23:34, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Comment Since all of the above city names already redirect to the mentioned articles, NPOV has already been violated as much as it would be if we sent the users to the article without redirection.--Loodog 23:38, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't understand your comment. Are you claiming that NPOV has been violated by the fact that Atlanta redirects to Atlanta, Georgia? Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  23:41, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
No less than it would be by moving the Atlanta, Georgia article to Atlanta.--Loodog 23:45, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
WP:NC:CITY speaks to this. There is a convention in place and Atlanta does not follow that convention. Atlanta, Georgia does follow the convention. Operating out of the convention assumes a certain amount of "established notoriety". Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  23:54, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
That is indeed what this move reques timplies. Most newspaper organizations (in particular the AP from which this particular set of cities is derived) treat some U.S. city names as recognizable enough to stand on their own. The fact that there is a well-defined list from a particular source would alleviate your NPOV concerns. Ambiguous place names that are not the primary meaning for that name are not covered by this move proposal. --Polaron | Talk 00:03, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Though I don't agree with this take on my statement about NPOV, I have struck it since it doesn't change my stance - nor do I believe the argument for status quo is damaged by its' removal. Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  00:10, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Weak Oppose While I think that these cities do all stand alone, they already have redirects going to them. My main concern is the strain of fixing the many links (and not just to the city page itself, but to related pages) that editors will have to do for consistency. Since many city page editors are local, I think this is somewhat unfair burden to them. Vertigo700 00:08, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Note that there is absolutely no need to fix any links per WP:REDIRECT. --Polaron | Talk 01:18, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Like I originally posted, my problem is mostly with related articles. An example is the 80+ articles on Seattle neighborhoods titled neighborhood, Seattle, Washington. If the city page was changes to Seattle, then wouldn't all the neighborhood pages need to be changed for consistency's sake? I don't see how redirects and/or bots really help the work that many local editors will have to do. Just noting that these types of broad changes have effects both beneficial and deleterious and in many ways I feel they should be left up to the consensus of the editors of the city pages themselves. Vertigo700 06:47, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Note that there is an ongoing discussion about how to deal with neighborhoods here. The trend seems to be away from the usage of the double comma naming style. Feel free to weigh in. --Polaron | Talk 13:19, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose I think this will lead to confusion, inconsistency and editor conflict. All US cities should be in the form city, state. Walter Siegmund (talk) 00:11, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Sorry, but all the only "confusion, inconsistency and especially editor conflict" has been caused by the requirement to use city, state. There are no such problems with respect to city names in countries without this artificial requirement. --Serge 00:14, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. To disambiguate these cities at city, state is contrary to the most fundamental rule in Wikipedia naming: use the most common name used to refer to the subject of the article. In the case of these cities, the most common name is clearly the city name alone. --Serge 00:14, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support, though conditional per Will Beback. Per WP:NC:CITY, there's a clear standard for inclusion in the list above: They're specified in the AP Stylebook as not needing a "state" modifier. This is a well-accepted standard throughout journalism and publishing. In addition, when you have a title like Los Angeles, California or Atlanta, Georgia, the comma and state name is just unnecessary verbiage at the top of the page. As in, "Los Angeles, California" looks odd, when "Los Angeles" alone would do. Currently, the only exceptions to the CITY, STATE rule I'm aware of are New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia. One thing the three have in common is that if someone looks up those titles, there's not much else they could be looking for. All the cities in the list above meet that standard. Throughout these debates, one of the most common "oppose" arguments I've heard is that there will be a horde of editors demanding that their preferred city be honored with a name lacking a state disambiguator. With such a clear standard, as outlined above, that won't happen ... no more than it already does, anyway. szyslak 00:15, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose - with redirects there is no benefit to removing the state from the title, other than to make it less informative. --MattWright (talk) 00:20, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
    • How is a title without the state name less "informative"? The state name is already in the first sentence, in case people don't already know that, say, Atlanta is in Georgia. Are the titles London and Tokyo truly less informative because they're not at London, England or Tokyo, Japan? szyslak 00:25, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
      • The title is less informative without the state because there is less information. Furthermore, the state name doesn't detract from a user's understanding or clutter the title. Your two examples aren't even from the U.S. and include the country name, not a state name. I'm not saying it should be Denver, Colorado, United States. I see no benefit to removing the state name and would prefer all articles for U.S. cities are "City, State". --MattWright (talk) 20:06, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
        • Why do we need "more information" in the title? We use the title for identification, not "informativeness". Is reading the first sentence or so of the article really too much effort for our readers? If we applied the strictest interpretation of the U.S. standard internationally, we wouldn't have titles like "London, England" or "Tokyo, Japan". They'd be more like "London, Greater London", "Tokyo, Tokyo Prefecture", "Paris, Île de France" or "Rome, Province of Rome". szyslak 21:30, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Among other things, it helps us determine quickly if we're looking at a settlement. "Fort Wayne" could be a military base or a city. "Fort Wayne, Indiana" is more clearly a city. The only city in this list where that is relevant is St. Louis, which we can't spell out to Saint Louis, unless we're willing to add the state name. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 00:51, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose Soapy 00:22, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Why, because you don't like it? An explanation is generally a good thing. New England Review Me! 00:45, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
      • I did not feel the need to explain why as this discussion has already been gone over in the past and I don't feel we should go through this waste of time every time someone wants something different. Soapy 13:38, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose As always, Wikipedia articles should be named after the full and proper name of the subject. In the U.S., that's typically "city, state" and I don't care how well known the city is. Redirects hurt no one. Besides, this is a slippery slope. If we allow these cities to be moved, there will always be discussion to move other cities based on the opinion that they are well known enough. Where does it stop? Lets rename Tuscon, Jacksonville, Tulsa, Anchorage, Charlotte and Buffalo too...! Okiefromoklatalk 00:53, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Comment Which would be all well and good if we didn't already have exceptions to this policy.--Loodog 00:56, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
      • Comment Not that I agree with any of those exceptions. Okiefromoklatalk 01:00, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
        • Comment But it does render a "slippery slope" argument that contends no exceptions should be made, moot so long as they exist.--Loodog 01:04, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
          • Comment I dont think a slippery slope argument is moot simply because exceptions exist. We should take a stand here and not allow any more exceptions, and hopefully the current exceptions will eventually be corrected. On the other hand, we could allow these further exceptions, and then someone down the line will want more exceptions, then more. Stop the slippery slope here, and stick with the basic accepted naming practice of the real world. Okiefromoklatalk 01:25, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
            • Comment But that's the whole point of slippery slope: once you start down the path, there's no stopping. If, after the choice has been made, one contends that it should stop now because it can't be stopped in the future, he is arguing contrary to the events that brought him there in the first place.--Loodog 01:30, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
              • Comment Well, right now were on more of a low slope covered in jello. If this suggestion is approved, I think we'll be on more of a slippery mountain covered in ice. At least unless there is a guideline put in place to limit any further moves to the cities currently listed here. But, I just don't see that happening. Okiefromoklatalk 01:41, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
                • P.S. Don't bother to think too much into that analogy. I just wanted to mention jello. Someone was going to anyway, right? Okiefromoklatalk 01:45, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
                  • Comment Then we're exposing the fallacy of past arguments only to use them again.--Loodog 01:51, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Comment The purpose of this move request is simply to bring these cities in line with the wording of the guideline for U.S. cities. --Serge 01:12, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Note that "city, state" is not the "full and proper name" of these cities in any case. Also, there is a well-defined list of cities. It is unlikely that the AP will change their list any time soon. So, there is a well-defined stopping point. --Polaron | Talk 01:18, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. This is NOT a proposal to let any city argue for first name recognition, but to acknowledge those that already have it. You need not let this go any further than: all cities which already have base names redirecting to them get moved to base name'.--Loodog 02:02, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
But that goes much, much farther than the current proposal -- which is limited to a finite list -- the proposal is quite deliberately limited because the proposal to move all such cities has faced insurmountable opposition in the past -- the current proposal is intended to address the most prominent and examples. olderwiser 02:16, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely true. Though my intention was to allay fears that this would create a free-for-all on locations for city articles. If this is passed, it will not mean we'll award city name status to every city that wants it or that every city will even have a window to argue it in.--Loodog 02:26, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I don't see this as a the "miracle answer" to end the debate and I see no reason for the "City Only" crowd to stop here. In additional to the superior benefits of the City,State convention, I just don't see the "promised peace" coming from this. It like poking holes in a dam so that a little water can get thru on the "promise" that the entire structure won't weaken and bust.AgneCheese/Wine 01:34, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Is there anything that would make this proposal acceptable to you? It's a well-defined set of cities and no more. I just don't see people even trying to move cities other than these given the strong comfort level of most people in the "city, state" convention. How about just give it a try. If the flood of move requests that some people arew afraid of do occur, then reverse the moves. --Polaron | Talk 03:12, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose "City, State" is a standard US convention for identifying any city and seems well established in Wikipedia. The more exceptions, the harder it is to deal with the process and the ore cross-checking is needed. Furthermore, while the cities proposed for this move are often known by city name alone, not all of them are unique city names. Determining that the non-unique name in one state is so impressivley prominent as to trump any other use of the name in another state seems to me to rather subjective and not appropriate for the Wikipedia. Pzavon 01:48, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Comment And yet we've already done it for all these places by having the base page redirect to them.--Loodog 01:52, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
    • This proposal is for the specific set of cities above and no more. I don't think there would be substantial support for any more. And as Loodog said, since the unqualified names already redirect to the city articles, there has already been a determination that these cities are the most common usage of these names. --Polaron | Talk 03:12, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Strongly support, for reasons I've discussed umpteen times in the past (although I do have a few reservations for St. Louis). Although it doesn't look like it'll go through, sadly. john k 04:25, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong support for a reasonable compromise for naming well-known cities. I'm sure that other major news organizations' style guides would also concur with the AP one. --Polaron | Talk 04:36, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong support. The only compromise that succeeded at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (settlements). As Rmhermen said, "Isn't five years of discussion more than enough?" I am confident that this proposal will bring the debate to a close. Λυδαcιτγ 05:00, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose I really don't feel that adding a list of exceptions, even one based on something like the AP's guidelines, does anything to strengthen the convention and Wikipedia. -- The Bethling(Talk) 06:06, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • No objection. Whilst I like the simplicity of "always use comma state" for large English-speaking federations, this is the only proposal to have come up with an objective criteria for creating a limited set of exceptions to it. The settlement naming guideline has recently changed to allow these page moves (and only these page moves), so this vote is really just to ratify the change on the actual articles. Australia has the same guideline with a small number of well-defined exceptions. Canada had the same guideline, and now has a looser version with verbose but subjective exception criteria. Hopefully this set of exceptions will not be the beginning of a slippery slope, but a shift in the foundation to provide a firmer and more robust footing. --Scott Davis Talk 06:31, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
The change that was agreed to at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (settlements) obviously only achieved consensus because of the limited number of participants. As can be seen here, once the implications of the change is made obvious to the larger Wikipedia community, there is not only no consensus for the change, there is a good deal of opposition. Accordingly, the changes made at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (settlements) to include the AP list and creating exceptions to the canonical standard should be rolled back.--Paul 21:49, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree that if this move proposal fails, it indicates a lack of support for the change to the settlements naming guideline and it should be rolled back. Sufficient time to discuss here should be allowed before it is decided one way or another, however. ɑʀкʏɑɴ 22:19, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I would prefer to keep all cities in the City, State format with the exception of New York City. --Hemlock Martinis 21:21, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There are already at least two too many exceptions to our convention, and no good reasons to add more. —wwoods 13:53, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Keep the more specific article names. The Atlanta redirect can help people find whichever article is presently the most popular meaning for the term Atlanta. (SEWilco 17:11, 22 August 2007 (UTC))
  • Support. Major cities are referred to most often by their names, not their names and states. This move would also converge our interests with the convention used for Canadian cities. Soltras 18:04, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. While this works as a compromise, to readers and editors the distinction would appear to be random. Chicago and Philadelphia should both be moved back to city, state form. NYC is probably best left as is due to its unique problems. By using the city state form, editors would stop linking to simply city which either is a dab page or can very well be the wrong city and a reader not familiar with the US states may not realize the error. Vegaswikian 06:54, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose - There are too many exceptions already, and this change will create another group of exceptions that will appear to be another arbitrary list to most casual editors. --Kralizec! (talk) 19:02, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong Support. If Wikipedia is to be a user-friendly encyclopedia, and be in line with the other great encyclopedias, these cities must be at the most common name. Also, common sense dictates this move. --- Dralwik|Have a Chat My Great Project 23:53, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Next step?

It appears that these moves are highly controversial and though some consensus may have been established amongst a group of editors on another article talk page, it does not appear that these moves are not being met with a great deal of support. I would purpose that we "lock" the debate at this time. Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  02:30, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

There's only been a few hours of debate. Consensus rarely, if ever, emerges after such a short time. szyslak 02:35, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
If there is no consensus for these moves, then I would argue that there is also no consensus for retaining the current exceptions. Vegaswikian 02:47, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Hear, hear. Heimstern Läufer (talk) 02:49, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Nor is there consensus for moving them anywhere else. john k 04:27, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Reasonable point. :-) Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  02:50, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Although this particular discussion is about moving only those cities mentioned, it seems that this issue is being viewed by many people as a small part of the larger problem. Someone should offer a compromise of some sort. Some clear guideline needs to be established for U.S. Cities at some point. We need to be able to stop talking about this... It's been going on for years. Is there no compromise someone can bring up? Okiefromoklatalk 02:57, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

"Some clear guideline needs to be established for U.S. Cities at some point." There are clear guidelines: for U.S. cities -> "City, State" --Paul 03:36, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Re-read those guidelines again New England Review Me! 03:41, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
The AP Stylebook paragraph has been added since I last read the guidelines (some time in 2006). Let me guess who might have made that change? :-) The guidelines used to be clear, and could easily be made so again. --Paul 03:57, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Or am I just innocently naive for thinking compromise is possible on this larger issue? Okiefromoklatalk 02:58, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Alas, this latest proposal was some attempt at a compromise. It doesn't look like it's going to gain too much traction here, however, and really I'm wondering, if we can't come up with at least a minor compromise, how we're to come up with a broader solution. ɑʀкʏɑɴ 03:01, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps if there was also a guideline clearly establishing the "city, state" set up as concrete naming policy and clearly limiting the exceptions to the policy to gamma or beta world cities (I see from the previous discussion that the above this is of gamma world cities, though some might want to limit it to beta world). Okiefromoklatalk 03:08, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not qualified to really offer an "educated" response - i have no idea how the most other countries establish their "provinces/state". As you can tell, i'm not even sure of the proper terminology. Does Mississippi (which has it's own disambig. page), have a counterpart in say Thailand? I don't know. So on this I will abstain from "expressing an opinion." Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  03:10, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, I meant to refer only to guidelines for American cities. Okiefromoklatalk 03:17, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I just want to take a moment and point out that the list of cities in question was not randomly compiled by any group of Wikipedians. The cities mentioned are all in the AP Stylebook as cities which do not require the state name to appear after them in the dateline of articles. So the AP thinks that these cities (along with several others) do not require disambiguation. New England Review Me! 03:20, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Speaking as an observer and not an expert - why is the AP stylebook so important? It's hard to say "This convention only applies to the AP stylebook." Does this style book have any impact on laws or regulations that determine how things are named in the first place? Juan Miguel Fangio| ►Chat  03:54, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
the AP is saying that there is no need to list the name of the state after any of those cities because the American public already knows which state the city is in by the name by city name alone (ie you don't need to put California after San Diego since most people know San Diego is in California). The AP has no say on what a city (or any entity) will name itself, but I'm not sure that's relevant (in theory Boston could change its name to Iraq, and I don't think Mass. can stop it) And while the legal name of a city may (or may not) be city, state, doesn't that mean that European cities should be named city, province (ie Florence, Tuscany). New England Review Me! 04:24, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
The AP stylebook, of course, reflects general usage and general knowledge. It is a good list not because it has any authority in and of itself, but because the list was compiled by people trying to do more or less the same thing we're doing, and it came up with a relatively reasonable list. john k 04:32, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Here we go again. As usually, it looks as though there's no hope for a consensus. Sigh. Is there absolutely any possible compromise convention for American cities that those of you who support "City, State" would accept? If not, this will never end. john k 04:32, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

  • I would like to know where this comma clause originated from. To me, it seems based on European editors' false assumption that we Americans will always use the name of a state a city is in if we are in another state (meaning I'll refer say Atlanta, Georgia since I'm in Mass.) New England Review Me! 05:04, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
It arose out of very early discussions on wikipedia. There was a discussion between a pretty small group of people over whether or not US city names should all be pre-emptively disambiguated with the state name. A vote was held, and this policy was approved by a vote of 3 to 2. (Literally, a vote of 3 people to 2 people - not too many people were around back then). I believe most of the people involved was American, although I'm not certain of this. At this point, the Ram-Bot then went out and created an article for every single inhabited place (city, borough, town, village, township, Census-designated place) that the US Census keeps data on, all using that form (and, indeed, for a while the article on New York was at New York, New York.) By the time anyone got around to suggesting that the situation be changed, there were a lot of people (Most of them, so far as I can tell, American) who were pretty committed to the "all city, state" formulation, for whatever reason (I'm still not sure I fully understand the intensity of this commitment). So, anyway, no, you're wrong. john k 06:03, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
The main reason that the comma convention exists in that form is that it has been the standard for U.S. language and publications since more than a century. Why it exists here: a few Wikipedians chose to override Wikipedia policy (parentheses) to bring that comfort to Wikipedia; since it was later propagated through so many articles, it was only natural that others began to copy the same method. The reason for the existence of the "city, state" method is perfectly understandable within the U.S. - because of its sheer size and shared placenames (between states) - but it assumes a foreknowledge of U.S. states. And no, it is not always used there, especially when the topic of discussion between locals is neighbouring towns.
As for the need of pre-disambiguation: it surfaced in recent discussion that 70% of all U.S. placenames will require disambiguation at one point or another - and this is without even considering repetitions of the same in other countries. It would be great to have all Wikipedia placename articles at their unique name, but unfortunately the Wikipedia technology will not permit it. I really think a larger, more world-aware method is needed for all political placename articles, otherwise the conflicts and quabbling will go on forever. THEPROMENADER 07:22, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
a few Wikipedians chose to override Wikipedia policy (parentheses) to bring that comfort to Wikipedia; -- an amusing misrepresentation and distortion. It is not policy to use parentheses for disambiguation. Never was, not ever. It is one method among several accepted methods. I think you may misunderstand the meaning of unique or are misstating your intended meaning. There is no technical limit to having place names that are truly unique at that name -- the problem arises precisely because so many placenames are not unique. olderwiser 10:17, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Find me anything in WP:NAME that suggests using a comma for disambiguation. The word "comma" cannot even be found on the WP:Disambiguation guideline - there too, only parentheses are the only method suggested. The comma's first widepread use was for U.S. placenames, and was, as mentioned above, imposed by a very few on a very many articles - check the (settlements) page history if you need concrete proof of this as well. Derisory adjectives are not suited for describing statements of self-evident and quite findable fact, so save these please, as they do not help discussion any. Yes, "unique" was not the right word to use - "proper" or "base" name would better describe my meaning. THEPROMENADER 10:54, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, that is turning things upside down. Your claim is that using parentheses is policy -- where is that precisely? Wikipedia:Disambiguation#Specific topic lists options for naming pages to disambiguate specific topics. First on the list, as it has been for a very long time: When there is another word (such as Cheque instead of Check) or more complete name that is equally clear (such as Delta rocket), that should be used. City, state is a "more complete name that is equally clear". 12:42, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
That's pretty twisted logic - for that to work, first you have to try to argue that "city, state" is a name in itself (that it largely is not - it is a habit that can only vaguely be considered a "name" by that select local few to who that habit belongs), and even then should we ignore the larger more evident fact ("city" is in a "state", as "beer" is in a "glass", but "glass" is not "beer"'s name) and accept this, it still seems that the reasoning was tailor-made for the cited pre-existing Wikipedia guidelines.
I've seen this "reasoning" many times already, but it is anything but: it is an attempt to give semblance of reason to a method whose origins are nothing of the kind: the "city, state" method is comfort defined for those to who use it each day - or it would not exist here. I can't put it simpler than that. THEPROMENADER 13:33, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Your obstinate persistence in denying that "City, State" is in fact a common alternative name is about the only thing that is twisted here. The rest of your comments have already been discused and rebutted ad infintum. Simply because you don't like the method and think it is illogical does not mean that is in fact the case. 14:50, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
We're getting way off track here. Saying that "city, state" is the proper name of "city" isn't even worthy of discussion - to take the "truth" of a vague interpretation and a very local few (if then) over the evidence of the phrase itself is seeking refuge in denial. I'm sure some people do think that "city, state" is a name in itself (and that if the question is phrased carefully enough), but that "truth" is akin to stating "some scientists think the world is flat". Whatever serves your purpose. THEPROMENADER 15:32, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, I think we are getting off topic here. Its not so much that "City, state" is the official name of the city in most city charters, but rather that "city, state" is the most accurate, proper, and formal way to address a city. In government reports, in news articles (except for certain cities according to the AP), in institutions of higher education, in any kind of official document, "city, state" is how a city is addressed. Accurate and proper are the key words there. See my proposition below. Okiefromoklatalk 16:15, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
All the above is great within the U.S. itself, as all the 'positives' you describe are only applicable there. How about the rest of the world? To foreign readers, "State" is but a locator, and not a name. THEPROMENADER 17:19, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
(As there really isn't a set guideline right now... "city, state" is just sort of the de-facto way.) I am just tired of seeing this discussion everywhere. Lets make sure it doesn't happen again, and maybe this can prevent it. Okiefromoklatalk 16:22, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't really understand the above - "it is because it is"? Again, that reasoning is limited to U.S. cities. If you don't either you make the comma convention standard for all countries, or find a new method that extends to there same, this discussion will always resurface. Wikipideans can limit themselves to contributing within their own knowledge (aka to articles about their own cities) using the logic of their own customs, but they cannot expect Wiki readers to to share their same origins and local knowledge, nor should they expect others to adapt to the same. The method should be suited to the media, not the contrubutors. THEPROMENADER 07:40, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
I am a little confused now. The comment you responded to just now was actually made before your first response to my other comment, and was meant to be more of a "P.S." and not a response to your response. Indeed, it might be good to have a blanket guideline for naming all places everywhere (as one of the proposals below suggests) but I was only meaning to talk about U.S. cities and how the "city, state" way of adressing cities is the defacto way in Wikipedia and the U.S. Okiefromoklatalk 23:14, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Sorry about that - I wasn't sure whether your comment was an outdented reply to my own. All the same, I don't see much logic in using different "city" disambiguation methods for different countries, especially when it is not immediately clear to the reader to what country each city belongs. THEPROMENADER 06:30, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Proposition for compromise

1. Implement a guideline that clearly defines all U.S. city articles must be named "city, state". 2. This will not apply to cities listed in a specific non-wikipedian list of well known cities, so as to prevent this issue from cropping up again, and only well known cities according to this third party can drop the state. If this list should be the current AP list, or a list of official Gamma-World or Beta-World cities, it doesn't matter. Everyone gets what they way this way (with a little compromise on both sides). Okiefromoklatalk 16:15, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

That's essentially what the currently discussed proposal entails - having the guideline say that City, State is the preferred method, but states in the AP list can be excepted and go by just City. Discussion on the topic endorsed the AP list over the World Cities list as the latter is heavily biased toward economic significance and overlooks cities prominent for cultural or political significance. ɑʀкʏɑɴ 16:45, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I'll point up at what Arkyan said and nod my head in agreement, but I'll also add that the GaWC was ruled out because it puts quite a bit of weight in the economic impact a city has to determine where the city ranks on the Global/World city list, when the only thing we're interested in is the recognizability of the city's name without the addition of the state. As an example, the city of Seattle is fairly recognizable by its city name alone, but it only has two points on the GaWC's 1999 list and doesn't appear at all on the 2004 list. The AP list is the only one that we could find that based the list solely on the recognizability of the city name alone, so that's what we went with. --Bobblehead (rants) 17:31, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
But a flaw of the AP list is the vast disparity of context. The AP list is used for newspaper dateline which has the luxury of one single context-to name a location. That is certainly not the case with Wikipedia in which an editor looking for St. Louis may be looking for St. Louis, or St. Louis, or St. Louis, or St. Louis etc. In the context of an AP dateline you always know what you are getting and in that singular context the list makes sense and would serve as a fine naming convention if Wikipedia was an almanac of placenames and locations. But Wikipedia doesn't function in that singular context and a worthwhile naming convention will take into consideration that vast audience that Wikipedia appeals to and the multi-faceted reference that it aims to be.AgneCheese/Wine 17:46, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
The usage of the AP list does not supplant the primary usage clause in WP:DAB. We've already removed several cities from the AP's list that Wikipedia has determined their city name alone is not the primary usage (Phoenix, Arizona, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, Nevada) and if there are more, then those can be removed as well. The idea behind the list is that when the average user sees the city name alone the first thing that will pop to most of their minds will be the correct city.--Bobblehead (rants) 18:08, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
How about we consider each city on the AP list on a case-by-case basis, and see if anyone objects for any reason other than the comma convention? New England Review Me! 21:52, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Good idea. But let's wait and see how this works out over the next few days. Then we can start trying to move one city at a time. --Serge 23:20, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support but I don't trust the AP. (SEWilco 17:22, 22 August 2007 (UTC))
  • Note - this proposed guideline has been (more or less) given clear wording under proposition #4 Okiefromoklatalk 18:21, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Proposal for compromise 2

2. The standard for U.S. place names at WP:NC:CITY should read:

The canonical form for cities in the United States is [[City, State]] (the "comma convention"). Those cities that need additional disambiguation will include their county or parish (for example Elgin, Lancaster County, South Carolina and Elgin, Kershaw County, South Carolina). A United States city's article should never be titled simply "city, country" (e.g "Detroit, United States"). Nothing in this guideline mandates that U.S. cities not using the [[City, State]] standard, e.g. New York City need to be renamed to conform.

If folks are really looking for a simple and consistent solution, this is it.--Paul 20:43, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure that's much of a compromise as it seems to basically be the guideline prior to the recent change allowing for those on the AP list. I haven't seen any serious discussion about moving Chicago, Philadelphia, and NYC back to the City, State format, some have brought it up, but even they admit it's not going to happen. The problem the US convention has had is not that it is unclear, but that there is a faction that want the comma convention followed all the time, a faction that wants WP:NC(CN) followed using the parenthetical method of disambiguation (Phoenix (Arizona)), and a faction that wants to use the comma convention for disambiguation, but falls somewhere in between the other two factions as far as when to use the convention.--Bobblehead (rants) 21:05, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
That's not acceptable (to me, anyway.) If we have that, we need also: "Nothing in this guideline allows or encourages any U.S. city not to be listed at [[City, State]]." — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 21:02, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Comment Be reasonable. No one is going to support moving "New York City" to "New York City, New York." You need a grandfather clause to keep article reverse-move wars like this very one from erupting on the exception cities. --Paul 22:07, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
This is thoroughly confusing. Anyone have any other ideas for a compromise then? Reading the discussions since my "compromise proposal" earlier, I no longer see a way to forge some kind of agreement between those who don't want these cities to drop the state and those who do. I guess that's why the larger issue has gone on for so long. I will say one thing: having just a few exceptions on an individual basis like Chicago and Philadelphia is not good and something need to change. And I'll tell you another thing: I'm tired of participating in these discussions when its always a split down the middle with not the least bit of a hint that consensus is getting close! Okiefromoklatalk 21:58, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
What is confusing? Those who don't like the [[City, State]] guideline are continuously pushing to subvert the existing standard. This discussion has assumed many forms over the last few years. The changes made to WP:NC:CITY is exactly the same argument once again, a camels nose under the tent attempt to change the guideline and then get on with the article name moves. The time to have this discussion was five years ago.--Paul 22:07, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I was just confused because people's opinions starkly contrast with eachother and its hard to try to envision a compromise that works for everybody. I agree with you, Paul: I opposed the move for the AP list originally. In a perfect world, I would want every article to be "city, state"... Okiefromoklatalk 22:14, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Support - Oh yeah and not that it looks like its going to matter but I'll just go ahead and say that I support Paul's proposal for the reasons I have stated all along. Okiefromoklatalk 22:22, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Support consistency with grandfather clause for stability. (SEWilco 17:23, 22 August 2007 (UTC))

Third Proposal for Compromise

3 All cities worldwide should be moved to [[City, state, province, or county depending on country]]. Before you squash this, consider that the fact that European cities need no qualification leads to many of these debates on US cities. If a universal proposal were adopted, we could have harmony at last. New England Review Me! 21:57, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Are you seriously proposing we move every single city article in the world!? Okiefromoklatalk 22:00, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
It eliminates the double-standard that causes many of these debates to pop up time and time again. New England Review Me! 22:02, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I like the idea but wouldn't moving so many articles cause a lot of problems and confusion, not to mention so many more redirects? Seems like such a huge change, I mean you're talking about moving every tiny town from the backwoods of Ohio to the jungles of Indonesia. Like I said, I like the idea... but... maybe hearing some more opinions about it will help. Okiefromoklatalk 22:10, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't see the number of articles to be moved as a problem. If an approach like this is taken, then articles can be moved as dab issues arise or for new articles. A sightly different take that may be more acceptable is to use [city, something] whenever there are two cities sharing the name and leave city as a dab page. This would apply if the conflict something other then a city. Vegaswikian 00:13, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support for consistency. Lets redirects deal with current popular terms. (SEWilco 17:25, 22 August 2007 (UTC))
  • Support for consistency (first choice). — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 19:16, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support this would work for me, but I doubt those who wanted to drop the "state" in the first place would like it. Okiefromoklatalk 21:19, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support and damn glad to see the initiative. I also propose to lose the comma convention as well - City (Country, stateifneeded) would be recognisable across the board for readers the world over, and isolating disambiguation between parentheses would make for a cleaner multi-level disambiguation (if it was needed). THEPROMENADER 00:07, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose I like the idea of common world-wide convention for disambiguating when disambiguation is required, but I don't see the point of complicating this mess by having Tokyo, London and Paris also violate the the most widely followed convention in Wikipedia by being at some convoluted names. And if you think moving New York City will be difficult, wait until you try to move Paris or London. No way. --Serge 01:48, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Comment - I think you're going to have to come to the realisation that, because of the Wiki media, and the repetitive nature of placenames, that most placenames will need disambiguation. I am (for the time being) one of Paris' largest contributors, but I wouldn't mind at all seeing it moved to Paris (France) (where it was once before) if it meant that a reader can a) find and recognise a placename article for what it is at first glance and b) expect the same technique everywhere for placename articles. As for "exceptions": For a coherent debate, it's best to make the rule first, then decide on exceptions to the same only afterwards. Cheers. THEPROMENADER 06:23, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
      • The rule has been made, and, again, it is the most widely followed convention in Wikipedia. So let's make a rule about how to handle the exceptions, even though in the case of placenames, the exceptions to the rule may be in the majority of applicable cases. But let's be clear that we're only talking about the exceptions, even though they may be in the majority. --Serge 20:33, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
        • No, "common name" was made for situations like Gdansk - it how best to choose a name that is proper to the article subject itself. Only by a lengthy stretch of the imagination, and that only with knowledge of local geography and customs, could it even be considered that "state" be even remotely considered as part of "city"'s name, and even then it is a habit more than anything. And this reasoning, and its application for foreigners: never. THEPROMENADER 22:30, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The inherent disruption of moving tens of thousands of pages far outweighs any benefits of "consistency". If there were a problem with the non-disambiguated titles, most of them would have been moved years ago. szyslak 09:32, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Comment - Wiki years ago was nothing near its size today, and the increasing conflict and discussion created by conflicting articles and guidelines is more disruptive than anything. First let's find a system that works, then worry about how to implement it later. No-one says we have to do it all at once, but even that would be possible with a bot - the same used to propegate "city, state", for example. THEPROMENADER 12:47, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
      • We do have a system that works: WP:NC(CN) and WP:D. The reason we have all this conflict is that we're not using that system. Note the relative lack of conflict in classes of articles that do not systematically violate WP:NC(CN) and WP:D. Like Canadian city names. --Serge 20:36, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
        • Sorry to call a card a card, the WP:NC(CN) citation is just a stretch attempt to justify the "city, state" method (but even this trial is only accepted locally, and even then by far from all), and there is nary a mention of a comma anywhere in WP:D. Perhaps you'd be better to state "we have a justification that 'works'" - at least for you locals. THEPROMENADER 22:24, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support Fix the problem in the only way that avoids conflicts. While everyone probably knows where Paris is, they will also know where Paris, France is and likely more will know here the second one is then the first. This also would end the move debates on what is the primary use for these settlements. The current conventions and discussions ignore the primary use criteria and instead focus on oldest, largest, first to be located at the name space, the site of some event, names derived from or other unsound arguments. Since the locals are in the majority on these discussions, the wrong articles frequently remain at the main name space. Vegaswikian 18:47, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support per Vegas and Promenader. This is easy, straight foward and consistent. Not only will this fix a mountain of current conflicts it also solidifies the settlement naming convention for the future and eliminates needless conflicts over whose city is "better". Far too often the city naming debates are tainted by the egos and pride of locals who happen to edit those page. The most fair and NPOV way is to be consistent across the board. Though I would strongly urge getting wider input from the Wikipedia community for this change. As the AP list moves shows, getting a few editors to agree on the convention page doesn't mean smooth sailing when brought to a larger forum. AgneCheese/Wine 23:35, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Agne, if you have any suggestions for bringing this to a wider audience, please do share. We're already near the top of the (convention) peak here! THEPROMENADER 22:26, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Proposal the Fourth

How about this, we all go over the AP list, and write our objections to each city individually (outside of ones relating to the comma clause) Then, we move all the cities with few or little objections. New England Review Me! 22:22, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

I think this one doesn't address the concern that there needs to be a clear guideline for naming U.S. cities. Okiefromoklatalk 22:23, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. It makes more sense to come to some kind of general consensus regarding a guideline, and then individual problems/exceptions can be discussed as they come up, rather than trying to figure out all the concievable problems and then write a guideline around them. ɑʀкʏɑɴ 22:33, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Okay how about the knew guideline is this: "All US cities should be under the article name CITY, STATE (unless further disambiguation is needed). However, a city that appears on the Associated Press list of 'stand alone cities' may be listed under the article name CITY if and only if it can be established that the city's name has no other major meaning" I've never written guidelines before, but I must admit I like it (wording may be changed if needed to clarify) New England Review Me! 22:37, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
This is just like the "sub proposal" for proposal #2 I just made. I think its wording is better. I don't know what were doing here with all these proposals but maybe we can just put that sub propsal I made under this heading instead. I would feel more comfortable with User:New England doing that since he/she is the one making these proposals. Okiefromoklatalk 22:46, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
One major difference is that yours automatically has cities on the AP list get moved, while mine says they can be moved only if they are on the AP list and if there is no other major meaning (yours seemingly makes moves for Pheonix(AZ) and Washington (DC) a sure thing if the guideline passes, while mine doesn't) New England Review Me! 23:17, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I think the real compromise is to say the cities listed above are well-known enough that they can be moved to just the city name IF there is a consensus of editors at each city's talk page. The guideline stays the same generally except for the above cities who will now have the option of changing their name. Vertigo700 23:00, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I would accept that too, but in my experience (failed attempts to move Boston and Atlanta) most people opposed to the moves opposed only because of the guidelines in place currently, so I think debates should be about most common usage. New England Review Me! 23:17, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
But if we agreed to a change of policy where the above cities could be left alone, that type of debate would become moot. It would only be about whether the editors themselves think the city name should be stateless based on their own opinions and circumstances. The main thing I would like to avoid is any sort of mass migration of city names without consideration of the consensus of editors who work on the pages and therefore going to have to do some work sorting out links and related pages. Vertigo700 00:32, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
You misunderstand, New England. My proposal does not mean if the guideline passes the cities on the AP list automatically get moved. My proposal says the AP city articles "can be named on an individual basis" ... meaning editors can determine the status of each city on the list individually. Okiefromoklatalk 00:41, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
It seems that this one just perpetuates our problem of inconsistency and no set standard, so I disagree with this one. Heimstern Läufer (talk) 01:11, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Why? It doesn't create inconsistency. We cap the number of cities that can appear under CITY by using a list produced by an independent third party. New England Review Me! 01:14, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Rewritten Version
  • Note: Another possible wording for this proposed guideline would be something like this:
    • ""The canonical form for cities in the United States is [[City, State]] (the "comma convention"). Those cities that need additional disambiguation will include their county or parish (for example Elgin, Lancaster County, South Carolina and Elgin, Kershaw County, South Carolina). The only exceptions to this guideline are the articles belonging to those cities chosen by the Associated Press in its list of city names that can be used without a corresponding state; these articles should be named on an individual basis, with consensus for naming to be determined on each city's talk page."
This allows all cities on the AP list to be decided on an individual basis whether they should drop the "state" part. This is due to the fact that St. Louis is highly ambiguous, for example. It also sets a limit on further exceptions to this rule. In other words, cities on the AP list would be allowed to decide if the article should drop the "state" from the name, but all other cities would be limited to the "city, state" traditional approach. Wording for the guideline can be further changed to make it clear that the cities on the AP list should be moved to "CITY" but can opt out of doing so if it creates DAB problems or something else. The main point is that we unite behind some kind of compromise and I believe this is, by far, the best solution that has ever been proposed on this topic. If we don't agree on this, this discussion will go on for another 5 years, and the current cities proposed to be moved will not pass any time soon. Okiefromoklatalk 03:07, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support full-heartedly. Its a good compromise and I think the best hope to uniting us on this subject. Okiefromoklatalk 03:07, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support I prefer the wording of this over the wording of my proposal. New England Review Me! 15:17, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support examining each item in the AP list in Wikipedia's wider context. (SEWilco 17:26, 22 August 2007 (UTC))
  • Support third choice. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 19:16, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Support #7; pages should not be moved here. Each city has its own reasons, and should be considered separately. (For example, Baltimore and Cleveland have the same questions as St. Louis). Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:26, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Please note that I've clarified that the discussions should take place on each cities talk page just now in response to your comment. New England Review Me! 19:31, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it was never intended to imply that each city would be decided here. In fact, it was always the intention that each city decide on its own talk page. Okiefromoklatalk 21:04, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Then I will support. The objection that we must have it here so it can be found seems frivolous; anyone who feels that strongly need only watchlist the pages; and we can even link to them from here as moved, so we can use Recentchanges. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:28, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Moves don't show up in a watchlist, do they? — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 21:34, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Moves will show up on your watchlist. That is, of course, assuming you check out your watchlist before someone else performs an edit on the article.--Bobblehead (rants) 21:40, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • (ec)They should; they show up in User contributions and history. But I meant the move discussion, which has to. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:41, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
A move does not appear to be a triggering event causing the page to appear on the watchlist, at least in User-space. If the page is edited before or after the move, it would show up under the new name, and if you'd look at your complete watchlist, you'd see the new page name, but my (small) watchlist is only about 1300, so I might not notice it. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 21:58, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
That's because you're the one that made the move. Your own contributions do not show up on your watchlist. If you'd like, I could move the page you just moved and it will show up on your watchlist. --Bobblehead (rants) 22:08, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
My actual edits show up on my watchlist; there are options to ignore (1) your own edits, (2) minor edits, and (3) bot edits. I have them all off. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 00:07, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. I continue to support this compromise. It's straighforward, logical, and non-disruptive. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 00:16, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. I think this addresses my concerns. Whatever intentions of the original move were they were not clear. This is, and therefore I feel it is fair. Vertigo700 02:10, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong support. This solution simply makes sense. It addresses flaws both in the status quo (the presence of unnecessary ambiguities) and in the initial move proposal (a mass move without consensus from the various pages' regular editors). szyslak 09:45, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support found a link to this discussion at the village pump, and this idea makes sense. Sasha Callahan 16:00, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support. Although, would a list of the cities or a link to a list of the cities be beneficial? I see "What cities are on the list" as being the #1 question if this new wording is approved. --Bobblehead (rants) 18:40, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
    • I may be able to get my hand on the text version of the stylebook, which might give me access to the online edition. And I should mention you were the one who listed the cities on the AP list (see here) and I don't know where you got it. But I assume those are the cities on the list. New England Review Me! 21:19, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
      • Heh. Yeah. I was the one that made the list you linked to, but I copied it from this discussion[1] when I failed to find a free version of it online.--Bobblehead (rants) 18:29, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment. What does this accomplish? How is this much different from the current wording of the guideline? --Serge 20:40, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Substantively, nothing. It just moves the move requests off this page and on to the talk pages for the cities. So instead of one move discussion, there's 27. --Bobblehead (rants) 20:44, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
      • Yes, this allows all cities on the AP list to be moved with consensus, but the current revision specified which cities were to be moved (Phoenix AZ and Washington DC are both on the AP list, but not mentioned by the current guidelines). And of course, if the AP changes their list, the guideline won't need to be changed (a reason why guidelines shouldn't specify articles). But yes, the major difference is that discussions would take place on each article's talk page. This is due to some sentiments that this is the wrong venue. Plus, IMHO its not a great idea to discuss all these at once, since I think if an editor were opposed to moving one city (St. Louis) he would oppose all the moves. New England Review Me! 21:17, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
        • It sets a clear (or more clear) guideline to follow for naming U.S. city articles - and what New England said. Okiefromoklatalk 02:08, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
      • Sorry, I'm still not following. The current guideline allows separate move requests on each city page as well as having one that moves all of them, doesn't it? I don't see anything in the current wording that would inhibit that. --Serge 20:08, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
        • That is my interpretation as well. All in all, the rewording just prohibits mass move requests or to have the move discussion on a talk page other than the city's talk page, while the old wording allowed for mass move requests and allowed the move discussion to take place on a talk page other than the city's talk page. So nothing too major. --Bobblehead (rants) 20:17, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
          • Right, its not much of a difference. But some people objected to the mass request that started this debate, and others felt each cities talk page is the proper venue. This proposal reflects those views. (I should say I wasn't too happy all these requests were en masse here---mainly because objections to individual cities may cause objections to the whole list) New England Review Me! 20:55, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
            • Well, keep in mind that with this new guideline no city will be allowed to drop the state in its name unless it is on the AP list. So you could not propose to move Omaha, NE or St. Paul, MN, for example. I think that in this way and the ways mentioned by some other editors here, the guideline provides more stability in the ongoing argument for naming U.S. city articles. Though I would love to see an addition to this guideline, now that it has conjured up some support (see below) Okiefromoklatalk 00:26, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
              • Possible addition to the guideline? - For years proposals for moving city articles have rarely seen consensus, and I don't see this changing when it is discussed on individual talk pages. I propose that we specify in the guideline the valid reasons to object to moving these AP articles when discussion occurs on indivudual talk pages. That is, to show that this naming convention already approved the AP cities to be moved - unless certain issues are present, like DAB issues, etc. This would ensure that this guideline establishes unity among U.S. city article names, and not a complete free-for-all among the AP cities. I would hate to see (for example) Atlanta, Georgia to be moved while Los Angeles, California is not, for no other reason than simply there were more believers that all articles should be "city, state" during the L.A. discussion than there were on the Atlanta talk page. Keep in mind, I am a "city, state" believer myself, but I am only giving up about 25 cities for a unifying U.S. naming guideline that will hopefully stop this discussion that has exhuasted all of us over the years. Okiefromoklatalk 00:26, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I take this period of silence as a lack of intrest for such addition. Perhaps it is better to keep this as simple as possible. Okiefromoklatalk 18:14, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
I wouldn't say it's a lack of interest in the addition. The lack of discussion since Friday could be that it is the weekend, which is generally a slow time anyways, weariness from the amount of discussion that has gone on, or a general acceptance. One of the issues that has always confronted altering the convention is that many of the participants of grown tired of going over the same ground over and over and over and etc again. Due to this, some tend to ignore/not contribute to the discussions until the very end or after the end to voice their opposition. At this point, the only people that have voiced their opinion have supported it in some manner, so I'd say we go with the rewritten version and then send a couple of the "obviously unambiguous" cities as a test run. A couple of cities that I don't see any real problems with are Seattle, Honolulu, and Milwaukee. I'd propose doing move requests for those three, if they fail, then don't continue the move requests, if they succeed, start sending the rest of the list through. --Bobblehead (rants) 18:44, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
  • This is premature. Changes to the policy at Naming conventions (settlements) needs to be discussed and agreed to there. The voting above shows that there is insufficient consensus for the current policy. You need to build a consensus for a new on AT THE RIGHT PLACE.--Paul 19:16, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
The rewritten version is only a minor modification to what was already agreed upon at the naming convention article and all of the participants from settlements page also participated in this discussion. So I'm not sure there is any benefit to repeating the discussion there. The only real change between the original version and the rewritten version is that it prevents the mass move requests that was a major source of problems in the move request that took place here. --Bobblehead (rants) 20:06, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Sorry to disagree, but what was previously agreed on did not have broad consensus agreement (see above votes for the moves), and should be rolled back and replaced with this current proposal and discussed on the correct policy page. Additionally, to ensure that the right population of editors is involved in the discussion, notices should be placed on the talk pages of all of the cities that would affected by the change in naming policy. THEN, if there is really consensus (as there well may be) the Naming convention policy can be changed again, and actions can be proposed. --Paul 20:17, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
What you're saying is confusing me. We should undo the recent changes to the guideline, and replace it with this one. That makes sense to me. What doesn't is that you say we then need to open a discussion on this on the settlements subpage. There seems to be no opposition to this proposal (except from you maybe) and this is the naming conventions talk page. I don't see the point of discussing it again. New England Review Me!/Go Red Sox! 21:21, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
I tend to agree with New England and Bobblehead on this particular issue. Hmm... that was funny sounding. Okiefromoklatalk 01:47, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support - perfect. Λυδαcιτγ 21:29, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support - This idea serves as a good compromise that allows for much needed consistency, but still lets exceptions be made at the individual article level for certain, notable, unique cities. --Kralizec! (talk) 19:05, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose - A solution should be best adapted to the media we are publishing in, not the system of another organisation with another self-defined purpose. Wikipedia is open to readers the world over, and not a select few aware of the local traditions (best defined by the chosen "local" organsation). Best start thinking outside of this narrow box - it is both permissible and possible. THEPROMENADER 21:47, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Update? - So, where is this going? Okiefromoklatalk 19:57, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose this and all other endless proposals to change the current naming scheme. Phiwum 20:47, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Proposal Number Five

All U.S. city article titles must be at [[City, State]], with no exceptions whatsoever. That means New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia would be moved to New York, New York, Chicago, Illinois and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, respectively. szyslak 22:40, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

For what it is worth, if we cannot come to a reasonable compromise in terms of exceptions to the City, State format then it must be strictly observed with no exceptions. How is it even remotely objective to allow only New York City to drop the state? If exceptions are to be allowed then a logical, objective method of determining reasonable exceptions must be found - not just "Because it already is". ɑʀкʏɑɴ 22:50, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
What's the problem with a "grandfather clause?" Our goal should be to provide an easily understood standard, and to stop the continual proposed move wars that we have now. It's all a complete waste of time, and adds no value to Wikipedia.--Paul 01:39, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Actually, the problem is the same for New York City as it is for Las Vegas, Nevada, although a different solution was taken. New York, New York is technically Manhattan, so New York City, in common usage, is taken as the entire "city". Las Vegas was set as a disambiguation page, as most of what is referred to as Las Vegas is not in the city. Chicago and Philadelphia would not be exceptions under this proposal, but New York City is. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 23:07, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
You'd never get NY to revert.--Loodog 23:08, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose. We're trying to fix it, not make it worse. --Serge 23:32, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
    • I don't like this one, but I find it substantially preferable to the status quo. Heimstern Läufer (talk) 01:12, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Strongly Reject saying all US cities need to follow a different rule than European cities creates a double-standard. New England Review Me! 01:42, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Do they speak the same language in Europe as the U.S.? Do they have the same currency? Does Europe use the same units of measure as the U.S.? Are there as many cities in any European country as there are in the U.S.? Sometimes a double standard isn't a double standard, it's reality.--Paul 02:02, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm fairly certain they speak English in England, and why does their use of the metric system and the Euro have to do with the names of cities. New England Review Me! 02:06, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Actually they speak British English and not American English. Very different. As far as place names go, they have a very different set of issues given the much longer history and may changes from what I recall seeing in discussions. Vegaswikian 18:58, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support for consistency. Redirects for popular terms would still point at the articles themselves...Until Mr. York's philosophical movie "New York" takes over the language and the article by that name. (SEWilco 17:30, 22 August 2007 (UTC))
  • Support, although New York City appears to be a rational exception in that New York, New York refers primarily to Manhattan. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 19:16, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment While I agree with this, it seems to go against the spirit of compromise intended by these "proposals". The point was so those who want "city, state" get something and those who want well known cities to be simply "city" also get something. I only mention this because for the past 5 years there has never been consensus, hense these compromise proposals, so it seems a little counter-productive to bring it up again. Okiefromoklatalk 21:23, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Proposal Number Six

United States cities with names that are not clearly the primary topic for that name are disambiguated at [[City, State]] (the "comma convention"). Those cities that need additional disambiguation include their county or parish (for example Elgin, Lancaster County, South Carolina and Elgin, Kershaw County, South Carolina).

Simple. Clear. Consistent with the rest of Wikipedia. Done. --Serge 23:31, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Not achieving consensus is now strongly rejected? --Serge 00:02, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Twice in the past month achieving a supermajority against seems like strongly rejected to me. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 01:15, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I still believe that additional dab example uses the wrong solution. If you are using city, state, as the convntion, then two conflicts within a state need to be dabbed so we should be using Elgin, South Carolina (Lancaster County) and Elgin, South Carolina (Kershaw County). So the primary name follows convention and is dabbed if needed. Vegaswikian 00:18, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose As Arthur Rubin, with the addition that it has never obtained a majority. It will produce a patchwork of small communities which happen to be unique this year, among the 77% which don't. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:22, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Proposal Number Six (a)

United States cities with names that are not clearly the primary topic for that name are disambiguated at [[City, State]] (the "comma convention"). Those cities that need additional disambiguation include their county or parish (for example Elgin, South Carolina (Lancaster County) and Elgin, South Carolina (Kershaw County)).

Same as Number Six, but dabs county in parens instead of double-comma method per Vegaswikian. Still simple. Still clear. This is even more consistent with the rest of Wikipedia than is Proposal Six. Opposition to this (or any other proposal) solely on the grounds that it has been rejected before is ridiculous and should be ignored. As far as the "patchwork" of small communities that will be created which happen to be unique this year, this is no different from any other topic in Wikipedia created with a name that at least initially does not require dabbing. The number of U.S. communities per year with names that have to be changed from being a redirect to a dab page is tiny, the same tiny that would be affected by adopting this proposal. This silly "justification" for opposition should also be ignored. What's left to oppose this? Nothing rational. --Serge 20:45, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Proposal Number Seven

US cities whose names are listed above (the AP guide list?) can be moved from city, state to city as they are deemed to be the primary topic for those names via the consensus of this proposal. However, the actual moving of the city pages as stated about should occur only through the consensus of the editors on each individual city's talk page to take into considerations the effects of such a move would have on the city's pages and people seeking information on Wikipedia. Vertigo700 00:50, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Lets nix this proposal - for all of us who want this very similar proposal to pass, I suggest we limit all our efforts to the one. We shouldn't confuse people by having several similar proposals (its like if one political party had all the support but spread its votes between 3 candidates, and the less-popular political party voted for one candidate, then the less-popular one would win). Proposal 4 is too similar to this one, so I think we should limit our focus to that. Its all about compromise. Okiefromoklatalk 03:12, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

I understand the need for compromise, but I cannot accept a proposal that would take away the decision from the editors at the city pages themselves, which is essentially the main difference (as I understand it between this and four). I (and I believe some others) are against any sort of mass move without any consensus from the editors at the city pages. To me that is a big difference. Vertigo700 06:11, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Then is there some way to bring the editors of those city pages into this discussion? This could prove useful. THEPROMENADER 08:05, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This requires isolation of the vote discussion within the article's talk page, so only people actively monitoring that specific city will be aware of the discussion. (SEWilco 17:33, 22 August 2007 (UTC))
I'll tell you what, while I think the city's talk pages are the most appropriate place for moving discussions, I'd be willing to support proposal four if and only if each city's move was discussed (and voted) separately, and new more intuitive banners were placed on each city's talk page directing them to the official discussion. That way the city editors and anyone else could put in their input. So basically there would have to be a single proposal simply giving the option for the above cities to lose the state and then separate proposals for every city move. I really think that is the only fair way to do this, even if it requires a lot of extra voting. It can all be on the same page so as to not take a massive amount of room, but there really needs to be consensus for every city in my opinion. Vertigo700 17:54, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
The intent of number four is too have them voted on separately (but these votes would likely run concurrently). New England Review Me! 18:01, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Mild Oppose. Seems to be a clarification of #4, but some editors don't agree. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 19:16, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. Dispite some assurances otherwise, it still seems to me that this is the same as #4. Also, there seems to have been confusion that proposal #4 meant each AP city was to be decided during this convention or at another; when, in fact, it always intended for the AP list to decide on each individual talk page. The wording has since been clarified, but I stand by my statement that proposal 4 has always been the same as proposal #7 with some wiggle room. And I still believe its pointless to have two of the same proposals. We should focus on the original version. Okiefromoklatalk 21:09, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Proposal number eight

Can we have some actual discussion here rather than voting support/oppose on proposals? I see too many votes with simply "I like it" or "I don't like it" attached, neither of which is a valid argument. m:voting is evil, and people here should be aware that Wikipedia policy and guidelines are not created through majority vote. >Radiant< 10:59, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

I would certainly love to see some more constructive discussion rather than the oft-repeated "Something like this was rejected before, so let's reject it again". The current state of affairs, ie. using the [[City, State]] convention with only an ill-defined "There are a few exceptions" is really not useful to editors. There really ought to be something more objective and concrete to follow. ɑʀкʏɑɴ 15:52, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Proposal number nine- city, state disambiguation when needed

If there is agreement on city, state, then we also need to correctly choose a method for disambiguation when needed. Elgin, Lancaster County, South Carolina and Elgin, Kershaw County, South Carolina are completely wrong following a city, state convention. They should be city, state (disambiguation) as in Elgin, South Carolina (Lancaster County) and Elgin, South Carolina (Kershaw County). The same applies to Poughkeepsie (city), New York and Poughkeepsie (town), New York which should be Poughkeepsie, New York (city) and Poughkeepsie, New York (town). This totally follows the city, state format and adds the disambiguation at the end of the article name when it is needed. I don't see the double commas as being helpful or consistent with a city, state guideline. I also don't see parenthetical disambiguation in the middle of the article name as being consistent with any guideline. Vegaswikian 00:11, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

I'd prefer the parenthetical method after City, State in both instances as the current layout is rather wikipedia centric from what I can tell. It looks like the current method of disambiguation for settlements with the same name within the same state is not used outside of Wikipedia. --Bobblehead (rants) 16:22, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Consensus can change

  • A reminder to all that consensus can change. I am of the opinion that this means that any arguments consisting solely of such phrases as "this has been rejected before" or "why waste our time with this again?" are invalid. Heimstern Läufer (talk) 00:32, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
However, "this was rejected last week" is still reason not to bring it up again. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 01:13, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that one different. Heimstern Läufer (talk) 04:01, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

How to Proceed

I note that editors are removing the "proposed moved" tag templates from the affected cities on the AP list. Bearing in mind the following

::The change that was agreed to at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (settlements) obviously only achieved consensus because of the limited number of participants. As can be seen here, once the implications of the change is made obvious to the larger Wikipedia community, there is not only no consensus for the change, there is a good deal of opposition. Accordingly, the changes made at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (settlements) to include the AP list and creating exceptions to the canonical standard should be rolled back.--Paul 21:49, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree that if this move proposal fails, it indicates a lack of support for the change to the settlements naming guideline and it should be rolled back. Sufficient time to discuss here should be allowed before it is decided one way or another, however. ɑʀкʏɑɴ 22:19, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

I think a new discussion should be opened on the Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (settlements) page to discuss a new standard. This is not the correct place to discuss or get agreement on a change to Naming conventions (settlements). In order to build a true consensus, and not have the same result this move proposal had, it seems to me that a new tag should be constructed announcing the important naming convention discussion, and it should be posted on the talk pages of the cities that will potentially be affected.--Paul 18:24, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

It seems there was some kind of discussion at that page regarding this very same move, at it seems to have ended around August 19 rather abruptly and incompletely. I don't think we need to go back there with this. Perhaps we could put another notice on each city's talk page - but I think its important to remember that the discussion has somewhat evolved into proposals for clear guidelines including the move of these cities rather than only the move of these cities (which seems to have overwhelmingly failed). It may be prudent to make a new template to put on those talk pages specifying this change in the discussion, but also keep in mind that a notice was on those pages for some time, so those watching those pages were certainly aware of this proposal. But as of right now, all discussion on the subject seems to have stopped. It seems that apparently, everyone who wants to chime in has. I'm not sure how to proceed from here, unless it seems like a consensus has been reached for something... Proposal 4 has by far gotten the most attention and support... Okiefromoklatalk 02:13, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Still.. it hasn't been that long since discussion stopped here. Maybe a little more time in addition to new templates... Okiefromoklatalk 02:14, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I think that a new round of templates would certainly be a good thing, but perhaps the leading proposals should be summarized somewhere with a link back to this discussion?--Paul 03:26, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
You know, I'm actually up for anything that could get this discussion rolling again or to see some conclusion to it. So I agree. Okiefromoklatalk 21:16, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Proper name for article which is out of its best place due to ambiguity

Given the fact that the Harry Potter article is about a series of books/movies/games about a character whose full name is Harry James Potter[HP5], should the article about the character be at Harry James Potter or at Harry Potter (character)? Note that the full name isn't a spoiler - the middle name is identical to the character's father's first name, which we are introduced to at the beginning. Od Mishehu 11:01, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

It should be disambiguated with a word in brackets. The name itself should be the most common one and adding in middle names, maiden names and the like has a tendency to create name forms that don't meet that. Timrollpickering 11:04, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Timrollpickering --Serge 23:48, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Bratley Langenhoven/Bradley Langenhoven

What is the favoured way of spelling Mr. Langenhoven's name - Google searches favour Bratley, searches favour Bradley, Metacrawler has roughly the same, Yahoo massively favours Bradley, Official RWC site Bratley, Bradley, Namibian RU Bradley. Which way does it go? --Montchav 12:10, 17 September 2007 (UTC)


WP:NAME#Album and song titles and band names says to uncapitalise conjunctions such as "and", "but", "or" etc. Does this also apply to abbrevations of conjunctions such as the "N" in Guns N' Roses and Chicken-N-Beer? Or should they be left capitalised as a pronoun? Spellcast 05:28, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

I'd say they are conjunctions, so it does apply. That's what I argued when I moved of Sweet Child O' Mine to Sweet Child o' Mine (see Talk:Sweet Child o' Mine#Why has the page been moved?). For reference, there is a discussion about changing the current capitalization scheme at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Music/MUSTARD#capitalisation of band names. --PEJL 05:39, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Reworded the "Controversial names" section

I felt the tone of the paragraph was too aggressive (or something), so I rewrote some parts of it. I think it's more instructive now, and more clearly reflects policy. Please note that this is just drive-by copyediting; I'm not currently involved in any controversial name argument anywhere or any such. :) Eaglizard 01:26, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Commercial renaming

Is there a guideline for how to handle the names of commercial products when the producer decides to change the name of the product? In some cases it seems justified in order to unify past and present; in other cases it seems like WP is being used to extend corporate marketing. Some specific examples to highlight the complexity of the situation:

  • id Software's renaming of the Quake engine series to the id Tech series, arguably for the sake of lending credence to their engine technology. Here I think there is a case that the original name should not be changed. In this case, the rationale is that it is anachronistic -- the Quake engines that fall under this naming scheme have no modern context, and nothing from their respective historical periods refers to them as "id Tech". For example, games built with the Quake engine themselves use the phrase "Quake engine". However, some editors have taken it upon themselves to go through articles of that period and replace the phrase "Quake engine" with "id Tech". In actuality, the only engine to actually bear the "id Tech" label from its beginning is the yet-to-be-released id Tech 5.
  • Games Workshop's renaming of Warhammer Fantasy Battle to Warhammer: The Game of Fantasy Battles. Here it is essentially the same product, but with newer editions bearing the revised title. While the established customer base uses the old name, new players may only recognize the newer title. I can go either way on this one.
  • The GNU Project's re-definition of GCC from GNU C Compiler to GNU Compiler Collection. In this case, the full title and function of the product has changed, but the common name (GCC) is being overloaded to mean two different things: the original product AND the newer, inclusive product. Here, I would lean toward favoring the renaming because it is more inclusive, but at the same time I also have some reservations because, from a notability standpoint, the original meaning has more historical influence and current real-world usage (that is, when most people talk about GCC, they still mean the C Compiler specifically).

While perhaps it is best to handle these on a case-by-case basis, there will inevitably be some controversial subject that prompts irreconcilable differences. Some comments on how to handle such cases would be appreciated. Ham Pastrami 09:00, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Interesting situation. I agree with you on the case-by-case basis, but in general, I think articles should only be renamed if/when the new name starts being used more. -Rocket000 04:31, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Capitalization of titles

I know there is no single "correct" way, but for Wikipedia's sake we should follow a clear set of rules. We have WP:NAME (also stated here) and WP:MUSTARD, which contradict each other by what one excludes. I know this has been discussed before, and I'm not looking for a new discussion. I would just like some clarification.

The following is the conclusion I've reach as to the most agreed-upon set of rules:

Words that are not capitalized:

  1. Conjunctions
  2. Articles
  3. The word to in infinitives
  4. Prepositions that are four or less letters and not part of a two-word phrasal verb


  1. The first word and last word in the title (or parentheses inside the title) are always capitalized (overrides previous rules)

Am I correct - is this something we all agree to use on Wikipedia? (Again, I am not asking what's the correct way, but the way we do things here.) Please tell me if I'm wrong, if not, (and here's where I do want discussion) we should make all the "policies" say the same or, better yet, have one policy.

I don't think the problem is we can't agree on one set of rules, no, the problem is a bigger than that... This issue has been discussed on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Songs, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Music/MUSTARD, Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (capital letters), and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Albums along with this page. I post this here, because this is where it belong. We need centralized discussion so we're all on the same page. Capitalization of titles is just one example. (All other naming conventions apply.) I also think pages like WikiProject Music's MUSTARD page should have notice at the top saying how it's not an official policy (even though I agree with them) because their rules clash with WP:NAME and can lead to confusion and edit wars. I even see people citing WP:MUSTARD in revert edit summaries or arguments like it's the consensus of all of Wikipedia. Maybe it is, but it's not the current policy. Anytime WikiProjects talk about rules that pertain to all of Wikipedia they should copy directly or provide a link to the policy as it is here.

I guess what I'm proposing is a new policy (or just an collaborative effort) to merge all similar sets of rules, so that every WikiProject or whatever doesn't have it's own "policy". If there's disagreement, it should be dealt with here or wherever the official policy's talk page is.

Your thoughts? - Rocket000 03:46, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

How do I disambiguate the same name in the same field?

I'm thinking about creating a page for a college (American) football player named Kevin Smith.

Kevin Smith currently links to the article about the director. No problem, right? I just create an article with a less ambiguous name. Trouble is, there's already an article Kevin Smith (American football) about a different American football player.

So, how should I disambiguate this further? Cogswobbletalk 19:31, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Middle name/initial is usually the next step.--Bobblehead (rants) 19:37, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
I haven't been able to find his middle name :-/ Cogswobbletalk 19:53, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
Year the enter the NFL is usually another option, but since he hasn't done that yet, you could always go with (College American football). But that would require an article name change if/when he enters the NFL. --Bobblehead (rants) 20:05, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't want to use "College" for that reason. I took a look at John Smith, and there are a couple of baseball players of that name disambiguated by their position. So I think I'll try Kevin Smith (American football running back) Cogswobbletalk 20:08, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
That's a good solution. Adding middle names that aren't normally used is not ideal. Another option would be to add the team, but since players nowadays play for more than one team that could be confusing. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 20:29, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Unclear naming conventions for country names

Very recently, the Myanmar page was moved to Burma, without any attempt to obtain consensus for the move. This move is being discussed after-the-fact here and here. I think that naming conventions for country-name articles could be clearer. -- Boracay Bill 01:45, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

The move from "Myanmar" to "Burma" might lead to calls for moving "People's Republic of China" to "China" as the exact same reasons that were used to justify the move would apply in this case as well. A clearer policy on country names should definitely be discussed. --Polaron | Talk 04:11, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Naming of Albums: concerning disambiguation


Dyaimz 21:56, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Can the word 'notable' be included in the name of a list?

As Will Beback points out at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Lists, "Wikipedia has scores of embedded lists that include a criterion, implicitly or explicitly, of notability. "Notable residents", "notable alumni", or "notable contributors" are typical examples." In lists which select notable people from a much larger group, I have found it very useful to include 'notable', as it helps to exclude the non-notable. However, there's a convention at WP:MOSLIST here that "The name or title of the list should simply be List of _ _ (for example list of Xs). Do not use a title like: Xs, famous Xs, listing of important Xs, list of notable Xs, nor list of all Xs."

This convention seems to me to make best sense for lists in which the word 'notable' can be inferred, such as List of Presidents of the United States. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I don't believe the WP:MOSLIST convention amounts to a strict rule that 'notable' must always be removed from a name.

We have a user whose edits consist largely of removing the word 'notable' from lists all over Wikipedia, stating if anyone objects that he is correct. I have discussed it with him here and here. Can other people please give this matter some thought? Is there room for 'notable' in the name of a list, or am I wrong and it should always be expunged? Xn4 17:17, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

WP:MOSLIST covers this adequately. Inclusion criteria, for example notability, should be clearly stated in the lead section. List titles should be very simple.
"Notability", however that is determined, doesn't seem like a very good criterion to state on its own, anyway. Everything in Wikipedia is implied to be notable, since we are noting it here. I think better criteria would be more concrete, like things which had articles published about them, or things listed in some type of reference. "Notable" doesn't really mean anything beyond someone's opinion. See Wikipedia:Notability.
(I don't see how "notable" can be inferred in the List of Presidents of the United States—it is a list of all presidents, not just the notable ones.)
Of course I can't comment on particular examples which I haven't seen, but there is no point in adding "notable" to the title List of Old Gowers, unless you foresee another list of non-notable Old Gowers, or all Old Gowers, neither of which would be suitable for inclusion in this encyclopedia. Michael Z. 2007-10-10 17:49 Z

Awards and prizes naming conventions - proposal

Since awards and prizes are awarded by someone they should have a name to them by the person/organisation/company/whatever awarding the prize. The naming convention should reflect this. // Liftarn

I think this runs deeper than awards and prizes, it goes for institutions, organizations, products, works of art, almost anything that has an official name. Most of the time when something has an official name in English, we use that on Wikipedia in place of the more common name (Academy Award, not Oscar; The Beatles (album), not The white album; etc.). Countries would be an exception (and should be an exception, as long as there's a non-controversial conventional short form to use). But there's not much support for this in policy, and sometimes (as has happened at Talk:Nobel Prize in Economics) people use WP:NC(CN) to trump the official name. It's just that this is done very arbitrarily. I think the whole official name vs. common name issue should be stated clearly somewhere, after due discussion of course. -- Jao 09:47, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Also, editors have used the excuse that since the title of the article is a common name, then other articles in WP should use the common name in the content of those articles. This argument then supports completely removing the official name of an award/prize/etc in WP, except for the one article about it, thanks to WP:NAME and WP:NC(CN). Something seems wrong here. –panda 17:14, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the title in the article and what is used in the text body is quite different and that should also be pointed out. // Liftarn

Seeing how no one has objected, does it need further peer review, should we create an article with the proposed changes and link to it, or should we just add this to the article? –panda 16:57, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

avoiding offensive names

I am all for basing WP editorial decisions on use in reputable sources, but shouldn't WP:NAME policy also include something about "the avoidance of forms of expression… that are perceived to exclude, marginalize or insult groups of people". I realise that this is a possible definition of political correctness and that the term is a red flag to some WP editors, but i feel we should take the bull by the horns and clarify the big difference between political activism, which should not be a part of WP, and political correctness, which definitely should be mentioned by that name and made a basis of WP policies. If too many object to the term, we could of course simply use older terms previously used to describe this concept, for example good manners. Quoted from a NYT discussion:

It seems sensible to me for us to use the same thought process to decide on the place names we use. There is no clamor among Italians for Rome to become Roma, nor among the British for Londres to be banned in favor of London. However, it would be understandable if a Zimbabwean objected to being called a Rhodesian, given that Cecil Rhodes was a Victorian imperialist who appropriated the land from that Zimbabwean’s ancestors.

It may be that the Burma/Myanmar issue is especially complicated because of the acceptability of those who did the renaming and the extent to which the local population supports the change. But generally speaking, we should try to respect people’s wishes when it comes to what we call them and their homes. It’s just good manners. --Espoo 09:21, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Nice quote, but I don't understand your proposal. Tempshill 22:33, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
I thought i said it in the first sentence. :-) I suggest adding a requirement similar to the following to the WP:NAME policy:
Articles and their names should avoid forms of expression that are perceived to exclude, marginalise, insult, or oppress groups of people. This should not be confused with political activism, which does not belong in WP. Simply said, WP should try to respect people’s wishes when it comes to what we call them and their homes. It’s just good manners.
Applied to a concrete case like Burma, this principle explains clearly why WP should respect the wishes of the majority of Burmese and of the elected government (kept in opposition by the military) and call the country Burma in English instead of using the term imposed by the junta, Myanmar. This is an especially clear case since there is no strong preference for M in current English usage worldwide. (US news outlets prefer M, but experts on Burma use B much more often than M in both speech and writing, and these sources should have precedence over news sources in WP.) This principle also explains why choosing B is not political activism, and it indirectly explains why WP would in fact be making a political statement in choosing M.
There are of course other naming disputes in which most English speakers use X and many or most of the people themselves would prefer Y, and in these cases WP editors should use reputable sources to determine if the people described simply prefer Y or consider X rude or oppressive. If Y is unknown to most English speakers, WP will have to compromise between the current policy and my suggested addition by, for example, having the article at X but using X only once in the article if it is objected to strongly by many of the people described. --Espoo 07:43, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Surely any attempt to avoid offensive terms in titles of articles is a form of censorship, and Wikipedia is not censored. A particular case in point is the British Isles. A vocal group of Irish editors hate the name, yet there is no alternative name that is used anywhere near as consistently or frequently. Changing the name of an article because some editors find it offensive (or claim to) brings their point of view into play, instead of being totally neutral.-- Waggers 13:33, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
WP should describe reality, not shape it. WP:NAME isn't perfect, but adding a PC standard would open a pandora's box of disagreement over what is deemed offensive (ultimately subjective) and this would in *most* (IMHO) cases overwhelm discussion of any given naming issue (e.g. Burma/Myanmar). It can be challenging enough to establish the first criteria of WP:NAME, i.e. to measure which name is more common (ultimately objective). Although politics cannot be completely excluded, WP will function better with a minimum of them, and it's best to avoid explicit political standards. István 17:12, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree. WP follows the NPOV policy and thus the proposal is not needed. A name that is controversial but neutral will remain but a name that is insulting or subjective has no place in WP - WP:NPOV does prevent that anyway. As the Burma-example shows, we already use the neutral name over the political "official" name, anyway. So where is the need to have a new policy? --SoWhy Talk 14:08, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Note also there is absolutely no evidence that Burma is preferred by the majority of Burmese. We know that most members of the prodemocracy movement tend to prefer Burma and we know that the majority or Burmese appear to support the prodemocracy movement. However this doesn't mean that most Burmese prefer Burma. Nil Einne 01:41, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Consistancy of special characters in article names

Someone has pointed out that there's an inconsistency through different consensus of what the appropriate use of special characters in page names should be. The two prime examples are We Love Katamari and I ♥ Huckabees. In the former case, it was decided that the heart symbol can be replaced with the word "love" and that while in the body of the text, the title was referred to as "We ♥ Katamari", the page name, for accessibility reasons should be kept without special characters. In the case of Huckabees, the consensus came to the conclusion that the trade name of the movie is with the heart symbol, and thus it should stay at the heart symbol version. (Of course, the alternative version of both have redirects, so its not a matter of finding the information).

While the current scheme does suggest that symbols like that should be replaced per "use English", the fact that we have at least two articles that vary is causing some people to use one as the rule to adjust the other, or so on.

Should there be a more consistent approach to this? --MASEM 17:06, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Changing the format of the page

I think that this page has become too long to be really useful. Would you think about changing the layout of the page, for example taking out all the summaries (except for the general NC guidelines) and grouping the subNCs by subject rather than alphabetically, maybe in a table format or in a more clean and aerated format such as in Help:Contents? Thank you. CG 19:56, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Names of former countries in biographical articles

Is there a convention on what country name to put as person's place of birth? Two conflicting examples are: George Washington (having historic name: Westmoreland County, Colony and Dominion of Virginia, British America) and Constantine Karamanlis (having current name Proti, Serres, Greece (historic would be Ottoman Empire)). Is there a naming convention about this? -- 14:32, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Y-Xers vs X people in Y vs ???

There are many pages about ethic groups in non-indigious place, e.g.

From time to time, on a one-off basis, these pages are proposed for renaming (e.g. Talk:Vietnamese Czechs#Requested move). Is there a standard for this kind of page? If not, could we start creating a standard for this kind of page? Ewlyahoocom 05:32, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Non-special but non alpha/numeric character in trademark title

There is a recent video game called "skate." (without quotes, that's the trademarked title). The page for it has seen a series of moves from skate. to "Skate." to "skate (video game)" to "skate. (video game)" and I think a couple other variations on those. It's not obvious from the NC which version is most appropriate: if the period and lowercase lettering are to be avoided, then "Skate (video game)" would make the most sense, while if those are allowed the current location skate. is appropriate. Obviously we can redir from other variations to the main one but it would be best to have a bit of assurance which is the correct way to go with it. --MASEM 15:18, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Request for (neutral) advice

Just looking for some neutral advice on the following case. Ok, to sum up what I am asking:

"Ireland" is the name of an island in Western Europe, previously part of the UK, now only a portion is.
The same name ("Ireland") is used to refer to the now-independant State. It is therefore located at Republic of Ireland (an official description, but just "Ireland" is very often used)

My interpretation of WP:NC is that this dictates "Ireland" should be a disambig, by policy. However most (or certainly, too many) views on the discussion of naming are based on general opinions (such as things like "Ireland has been used as a name for the island, for longer than the state has existed. So the island should have precedence" - clearly wouldn't be backed up by policy) so I would like to see what others think, who are basing their opinions entirely on the policy. I'll also just point out there are hundreds (possibly thousands) of links to "Ireland" which refer to the State (and so should link to "Republic of Ireland") since novice users may not be aware of where the articles are located.

The reason I'm posting here, is because anyone on this page, has presumably just looked at the actual policy (and are hopefully approaching it with a NPOV since they may be unaware of the problem). - EstoyAquí(tce) 00:06, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

You may find a discussion with a similar theme at Talk:Newfoundland_(island)#Newfoundland_redirect:_Island_vs_Province and Talk:Newfoundland_and_Labrador#redirection. Ewlyahoocom 03:29, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


Could anybody tell me please, what is this moving warning about "This can be a drastic and unexpected change for a popular page; please be sure you understand the consequences of this before proceeding." Please explain me exactly, what drastic and unexpected change(or changes) might accur with such a popular page? Toasker (talk) 18:56, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

See, for example, Burma and Talk:Burma -- Boracay Bill (talk) 02:41, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Sports teams

As indicated by Prolog (talk · contribs) at Talk:FC Steaua Bucureşti#Requested move and by MTC (talk · contribs) at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Football#Naming conventions and club names, the naming convention for sports teams was added by Mjefm (talk · contribs) back in June. It appears that this occurred without prior discussion, that no consensus had been sought or formed. Because of my own involvement in this discussion/dispute, I obviously won't touch the section myself. But in view of the discussions, should the section be hidden from view until a consensus has been formed? AecisBrievenbus 00:54, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

This should defenetly be removed if it was added without the community's consensus. Everything added should be discussed and be approved by the community's consensus not unilaterally by one user's decision. —dima/talk/ 04:04, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
It should be deleted immediately while we come up with a more comprehensive policy. As the recent moves of FC Dynamo Kyiv to FC Dynamo Kiev and FK Crvena Zvezda to Red Star Belgrade demonstrate, unfortunately some over-zealous admins are taking advantage of this irrational statement and using it to bypass the consensus of editors. The statement is factually incorrect from the get go. It reads, "For example, Sporting Clube de Portugal are always called Sporting Lisbon in the English-speaking world." Well during the Manchester United FC-Sporting CP Champions League match the English ESPN announcers (Derek Rae and Tommy Smyth) had no problem calling the Portugese side, "Sporting", "Sporting Clube", or "Sporting Clube de Portugal". They actually made a point in the broadcast that Sporting doesn't like being called Sporting Lisbon and that that particular term is outdated. --Tocino 04:07, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Right, here's my proposal for this issue. I suggest that if the club's official website has an English language version, we should entitle any Wikipedia articles about that club using whatever name is used on the English version of their website. In the event that the club does not have an English language website, we should use the name that the club goes by most commonly in other English language media. Under this proposal, the article that is currently at FC Dynamo Kiev would be located at FC Dynamo Kyiv and FC Bayern Munich would remain where it is, as would FC Steaua Bucureşti, while FC Red Star Belgrade would be at FC Red Star or Red Star Belgrade. For the sake of consistency, in the case of FC Arsenal Kiev, that article should be located at FC Arsenal Kyiv, per FC Dynamo Kyiv. - PeeJay 17:29, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

An event with no name

I've come across this really bad maritime disaster that befell the Royal Navy in 1707 - one of the worst in the RN's history.

What happened is that a fleet of RN ships commanded by Rear Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell sailed at night into the rocks around the Scilly Isles. Four capital ships were sunk, three of them going down with all hands, for the loss of somewhere between 1500 and 2000 men.

But here's the weird bit - the event has no name! Because it happened in 1707 when there were few newspapers, and because it was at then end of the day a relatively minor event compared to the continental war that was then raging, it seems never to have been "christened".

There are a couple of Wiki articles on the individual ship sinkings, but it seems to me the obvious thing to do is treat this as a single event. Trouble is, since the event doesn't have a name, any name I give it - like for example the Shovell squadron disaster - is effectively a neologism.

Anyone have a solution to this? Gatoclass 11:05, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Yep, WP:COMMONSENSE. However, I assume you do have some sources to extract the material from (otherwise, it would be like User:Ned Scott/Upper Peninsula War, see the context). I assume that the sources refer to it somehow. However, I see that the event is, at least partly, covered in HMS Association — why not expand it there rather than making up a title? Duja 11:41, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
The sources probably describe it with long, half-sentence descriptors. But why not call it Shovell and the Scilly Isles until you find a better term? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 07:12, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Copy-edit tag

I've posted one because this page is not in good shape and needs an overhaul. I see even a section with a link back to itself. Tony (talk) 00:31, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I'm wondering why it has the policy template and not the usual styleguide template at the top, if this is part of the MOS. Tony (talk) 00:45, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
The reason is very simple: This is a policy while most parts of the MOS are guidelines. That's also the reason it was such a bad idea for you to edit the page as you did without first attempting to come to some consensus here. As you commented below, the result was that some of your hard work was a waste of your time. It wasted other people's time too fixing it up. Andrewa (talk) 01:11, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
    • The whole of the naming conventions part of the MOS is chaotically organised. Why is it that we have in the (central) page sections for:

"2.34 People

  • 2.34.1 Monarchs and nobility
  • 2.34.2 Ancient Romans
  • 2.34.3 Western clergy

and Mormons, and Old Norse, and Legistlation in the UK;

yet much more significant aspects are cordoned off into subpages? Doesn't make sense. Tony (talk) 01:39, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Not a good start to have someone here revert my hard work in trying to fix up the opening. Please explain why it wasn't a significant improvement in the organisation of the material. Tony (talk) 06:14, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

For one thing, I wasn't too enthused about:

Linking conventions are also important. Following consistent conventions in both naming and linking makes it more likely that links will lead to the right place. A redirect should be created for articles that may reasonably be found under two or more names (such as different spellings or former names). Conversely, a term that may be used to describe several different search terms may require a disambiguation page.

Yeah, sure a lot of things are "also important", Wikipedia:NPOV tutorial#Article names for instance. The previous version was clearer about why some things are mentioned in the intro, and why others aren't.
Re. "my hard work" argument. Believe me, a lot of people's hard work has gone in the present formulation of the page and its intro (not only speaking for myself here). "my hard work" just isn't an argument in this context. --Francis Schonken 09:41, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

And nor was your non-edit summary. Now, this whole paragraph—what is the problem? How is it different in substantive meaning from the previous sloppy version? Methinks there's ownership going on here. Tony (talk) 10:59, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Removing the tag

Ridiculous. I suggest we remove this unhelpful tag from this key policy immediately, revert to the version before it was added, and discuss the proposed changes here. Andrewa (talk) 19:09, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

In that nobody speaks, I'm removing the tag. We seem to be back to the previous version of the intro already.

Before putting it back, please discuss it here. What exactly is needed, in your opinion? Andrewa (talk) 01:11, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Don't you dare remove that tag. I'm still fuming at Shonken's reversion of my copy-editing of the lead. It that's the way it will be, the copy-edit tag stays. YOU copy-edit the text. Tony (talk) 04:05, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

I've started copy-editing again. Do not revert unless you have a good reason to believe that the edits are not an improvement. This should be stated here. I have made no substantive changes to meaning. Tony (talk) 04:40, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

NB, BKonrad, please note WP's policy on personal attacks. Accusing me in your edit summary of having "a fit of pique" is bordering on just that. Please do not personalise what should be a simple and collaborative process. Tony (talk) 04:44, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

I didn't "accuse" you of anything--I supplied an admittedly colorful description based on your statements here. Dramatic statements like Don't you dare remove that tag. I'm still fuming at Shonken's [sic] reversion of my copy-editing of the lead. YOU copy-edit the text. looks to me quite fairly described as a fit of pique. Sorry if you have such thin skin and are so easily offended. Thing is, while you accused Francis Schonken of "ownership", I suggest that your threat to hold the page hostage with a copy-edit tag while expecting some "YOU" to make the edits is also symptomatic of ownership. Yeah, I agree about editing being collaborative, but holding pages hostage without discussion is not very collaborative though. WP:BRD applies -- you boldly tried making some edits without discussion, which in principle is fine, but, the edits were reverted indicating a lack of consensus support. The subsequent discussion stalled without your preferred edits being made. You made some dramatic statements implying you were holding the page hostage. I didn't think that was a good enough reason for adding the tag. I'm glad you tried making your "copy-edits" again rather than waiting for some "YOU" to do so on your behalf. The edits were mostly reverted (again), so perhaps some substantive discussion about the edits would be appropriate. olderwiser 13:25, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Collaboration on a key policy page such as this one means discussing changes before they are made, and going with the consensus. This is what I'm asking you to do.
My suggestion is that you stop making unilateral changes, revert what you've done without consensus (including I suggest the copyedit notice), and let's talk. Andrewa (talk) 06:37, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
This really sounds like what Tony says at WT:MOS; does the kettle wish to continue arguing about the blackness of the pot? At least one of the "copyedits" is a change of policy. I have tweaked the original in restoring it, since some of our article topics are unknown to a majority of English-speakers. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 07:07, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm unsure what this means... are you meaning I'm the kettle, or the pot? Anyway, agree that at least some of these "copyedits" need further discussion. Can you be more specific about what Tony says elsewhere? It might save me reinventing the wheel here. Andrewa (talk) 07:39, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
You are making the same argument that Tony makes about WP:MOS, that changes should be made only after being proposed (see its talk page, and those of its subpages, passim), except that WP:MOS is a guideline, and its guidance is often the crochet of one or two editors, and that he objects to every change, no matter how minor or well-justified. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 08:12, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
As you say, this is Wikipedia policy while most of the MOS (perhaps all of it, I'd need to check) is guideline. I think that is important. I actually think that the way he is making changes here would be inappropriate on any project namespace page, whether policy, guideline or other. But applied to official policy, it's just not on.
I came into this discussion because I was trying to reach consensus at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Ancient Egyptian). This is a draft for a new naming convention which has largely come out of a renaming conflict. Many of those involved are fairly new to Wikipedia, and aren't following policy partly because they haven't yet read it. It's most unhelpful when they can point to WP:NC and say, hey, that's flagged as policy but it's also flagged as needing an update, and it changes daily. Andrewa (talk) 00:25, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Tony has now added the tag three times in all, twice today after two different editors removed it (I was one of them). There seems to be a rough consensus to remove it, so we could keep removing it until he's stopped by the 3RR I guess, or escalate the issue along Wikipedia:dispute resolution if he persists. But I personally obey a 1RR, and I hope it won't go further.

It's not doing too much damage I guess, but it does make it much harder to persuade relative newbies that Wikipedia has policies and that we should abide by them. Andrewa (talk) 07:51, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

In fact, all of our pages welcome copyediting; that's what a wiki's for. As for his war on also, see if the brevity is worth the slight change in emphasis: it may be. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 08:12, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
There is a big difference between proposing substantive changes to policy and merely improving the wording of the existing policy. If I have inadvertantly changed the substantive meaning, please point this out—except for trivial changes of meaning that, frankly, need to be expunged. I don't mind Anderson's further change, but why, for example, does the text now refer to "the greatest number of English speakers" rather than merely "most readers"? It seems redundant to talk of English speakers here, and why "the greatest number" of E s? Seems clumsy.
This is my complaint about the page. The wording should be as plain and brief as possible to get across the detail, and it should be simply formatted. Not verbose gobbledygook that makes the policy is less accessible to WPians.
People here seem to have become complacent about the need to overhaul a text that has grown by committee. The language of such pages as MOS and NFC—the most sensitive policy page of all—have been rigorously overhauled. In the case of MOS, there were substantive changes in meaning; in the case of NFC, the overhaul I performed early this year changed the meaning only marginally in a few places (by consensus). Tony (talk) 11:44, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Why English speakers? Because it is important, and all too often ignored, that this Wikipedia is intended for anglophones; the preferences of Foolanders are reflected in the Fooish WP, not here. Changing this is changing policy. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:20, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but why does this need stating, for heaven's sake. Should we also add "for those who can read", and "for those who have an Internet connection"? These are in the background meaning and clutter the text when stated. Tony (talk) 00:32, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Disagree. These examples are just more straw man arguments. Andrewa (talk) 00:40, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
In reply to Septentrionalis In fact, all of our pages welcome copyediting; that's what a wiki's for, I can only say "Hear, Hear". Of course if we do go further down WP:DR, one possible outcome is to protect this page. But that's a last resort. Andrewa (talk) 00:40, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
OMG, why are you talking of dispute resolution—because someone is daring to improve the language of the page. That is ownership. Now, rather than say just "Disagree", can I hear why we need to specify "English speakers" on the English-language WP? It's like linking the English language, an equally ridiculous notion. It seems that you're arguing for the sake of arguing, just to protect your page. Tony (talk) 00:59, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
No, I'm talking WP:DR because someone was daring to say things like Don't you dare remove that tag and, more important, daring to restore the tag in the face of rough but clear consensus to remove it.
Agree it's not my page.
I suggest we start a new section below to discuss your specific proposals for improvement. Andrewa (talk) 01:14, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

The tag is gone, removed for a third time by a third different editor. Hopefully now it will stay gone unless critical problems are raised. And by critical, I mean ones that are so important that the page is more use to the project with the tag in place than without it. That's the important thing. We're not here to build pretty project pages, we're here to build pretty articles. This tag might not be intended to suspend the authority of the policy, but there's a sense in which it does lessen it, especially with relative newcomers reading it for the first time. This is an important page. Andrewa (talk) 01:05, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

"Important" sounds perilously close to "self-important". Why are you still talking about the tag? It remained on MOS for a month, and people were only too happy because it marshalled forces to improve the language. But I don't care, if the tage was such a big deal—as long as the language of the page is improved significantly. But all I see is resistance to even the most obvious improvements, rather than collaboration. I'm sick of spending time on meta-issues. Tony (talk) 01:10, 24 November 2007 (UTC) Oh, and I see that someone here has labelled the presence of the tag as my "holding hostage" to the page. That again is a symptom of a culture of ownership that appears to have grown here. Tony (talk) 01:12, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry if I seem self-important to you. I'm glad that the issue of the tag seems settled.
IMO collaboration on policy pages means discussion first on all but the most trivial changes, and when in any doubt, or where there is opposition, changes made without discussion should be reverted and then discussed. I think this is the view of Wikipedia:policy. I can't see why it should not apply to the copy-edit tag.
I don't know why others didn't object to the tag before. Perhaps they've had the experience of being called self-important simply because they dared to revert some other change you made previously, and you were fuming at them too?
But I repeat, Tony, I'm really glad you care so much about Wikipedia. Let's get on. Andrewa (talk) 01:29, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Fumed because Shonken, who reverted, provided no substantive reasons or alternative improvement, where the text was clearly wanting. I started a section at the bottom for specific issues; there's no need to create a second section. Tony (talk) 01:32, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Problems in the text

The clumsiest sentence at the top is this, with following follow following in quick succession: "In addition to following the naming conventions, it is important to follow the linking conventions. Following consistent conventions in both naming and linking makes it more likely that links will lead to the right place." There is a redundant word, "consistent". What is an "inconsistent convention"?

An inconsistent convention is one that is self-contradictory, but that's not the only meaning here. Note the plural. Two conventions are inconsistent if they lead to two different, incompatible results. If our conventions are not consistent (perhaps owing to instruction creep) then we have a problem. Andrewa (talk) 00:11, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
And a "convention followed consistently," as implied by the language Tony removed, produces predictable names: an advantage to editor and reader alike. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 08:13, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Here is one possible solution. Does anyone have a better one? "Following linking conventions as well as naming conventions will ensure that links are more likely to lead to the right place. Tony (talk) 11:58, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

I have no problem with that change. I think a little has been lost, but it's not important IMO. But it solves a non-problem. Is that really the worst problem you see? If so, can we remove the copy-edit tag? Andrewa (talk) 00:11, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Have you noticed that it has been removed? Not through my doing. There's a big problem if you think that rubbishy text is a "non-problem". The policy pages need to be written in professiona-standard text, not amateurish dawdlings. I'd like to hear your appraisal of a film with constant little editing glitches. Tony (talk) 00:30, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Ah, so it has, and without any of us having to break my 1RR (except you of course). Third time lucky I hope, perhaps it will now stay removed.
I certainly don't think rubbishy text is a non-problem. But I think I demonstrated that one of your quibbles, the specific one that you raised as a key problem to be addressed first, was just that.
I'm sure you add great value to Wikipedia. You have passion for the project and outstanding skill in English. But please, you need to obey the rules too. Nobody is right all the time. Consensus is important here, even (perhaps especially) when you think your opponents are unworthy. See User:Andrewa/creed for more on this. Andrewa (talk) 00:56, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Again, don't personalise the issue. Who said I think you're "unworthy". I do, however, think that you're taking an unconstructive approach to improving the text. Am I going to have to fight tooth-and-nail to make any improvements to the text, even obvious ones? It's all too tedious, and perhaps the strategy is that I'll just go away. I won't. Tony (talk) 01:02, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Discussion doesn't need to be a fight. But your perception of obvious seems different to many, possibly because you are more perceptive (seriously) but in any case that makes discussion important.
At the risk of speaking out of turn, I think it would also help if you avoided the imperative mood in your advice to others. That was one thing that motivated me to speak of attitudes to others. Imperative mood is useful in military situations, and I use it a lot whenever I skipper a racing yacht. But it's not good here IMO, and you use it quite a lot.
I'm glad you're not going away. I've taken a few Wikibreaks myself, but generally by doing something else rather than withdrawing completely... I'm currently on a long one from AfD for example and I thought I was on one from policy pages, but I'm back obviously. Perhaps I won't ever get re-involved in new policy pages however, that has not been my area of greatest success over the years! Andrewa (talk) 01:49, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Specific problems

Any to suggest? Andrewa (talk) 01:49, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes. "This page in a nutshell: Generally, article naming should prefer what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature."

Just what subtle nuance is provided by "the majority of" versus "most"? And by "English speakers" versus "readers"? (Here, I don't want non-native speakers to feel excluded, which may be the result, although I accept that it was not the intention.) Why "would"? I don't understand what this clause is adding: "with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity". Why "while" and "at the same time" (which mean the same thing)? Tony (talk) 02:14, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

I like it as it is.

"The majority of" seems quite acceptable phrasing to me, I don't see any advantage in changing it to "most", I don't see any subtle nuance but it sounds fine as is. It would be worth looking at the history and talk page archives to see whether there was previous discussion before potentially wasting lots of time over such a seemingly trivial issue on a key policy page.

There is one problem with "majority of": many topics are things of which no majority ever speaks. I propose "greatest number", as below, as better-defined than "most". Septentrionalis PMAnderson 08:02, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Good point. I like that change. Andrewa (talk) 09:49, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

"English speakers" is the correct term; We don't mean "native speakers", English Wikipedia is for all English speakers and many of our editors are not native speakers themselves.

"Would" is subjunctive mood. It's good grammar.

"With a reasonable mimimum of ambiguity" is there to cover cases where there are several possible titles but one that's arguably more common is compromised by some ambiguity, so we prefer the unambiguous title. It sounds quite clear to me, and I suspect any rephrasing will just complicate matters. But have a go if you like. My advice is to do it here, not on the page.~

I concur; this is substantive policy: Names must be unambiguous, but we are not required to pursue disambiguation to deal with unreasonable shadows. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 08:02, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

"While at the same time" is good English IMO. Shorter is not always better.

Emphasis. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 08:02, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Well put. Andrewa (talk) 09:49, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Really, are these the sort of things you described so disparagingly above? It's certainly neither rubbishy text nor amateurish dawdlings. If that's the best you can do, I think you owe the previous editors of this page an apology.

They've worked hard and produced an excellent outcome. Give us a break. Andrewa (talk) 03:57, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Response to Andrewa: Give me a break, too. My experience was a high-handed, resistant attitude here, and I probably overreacted; I apologise if you were offended. I thank you for your kind comments earlier, but you continue to personalise the discussion. Asserting that you've "produced an excellent outcome" is a defensive statement that appears to rule out improvements and suggests an attitude of ownership. Allow others to judge your excellence rather than asserting it yourself. As you say above, you don't own the page, but this suggests that you do. Can we keep this just to the task of improving the language?

Agree you overreacted. I think you can hardly throw stones regarding personalising issues, or for being high-handed, or for an attitude of ownership.
No, I haven't produced an excellent outcome, or claimed to. I don't even remember making any edits to this particular page. The section we were discussing (the in a nutshell box) is not my work. I will indeed allow others to judge my work, that's good advice.
Now, may I please judge theirs? My judgement is that the in a nutshell section is excellent. That's not to say it can't be improved. But it certainly suggests to me that we'd be better spending our time on looking at other sections for improvement. Andrewa (talk) 20:08, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

"Do not capitalize second and subsequent words unless the title is a proper noun (such as a name) or is otherwise almost always capitalized (for example: John Wayne and Art Nouveau, but not Video Games)."

I had to read this twice, carefully, to get it. Can "almost always" be changed to something simpler, such as "normally"?

I think the problem is otherwise. This involves a sudden shift in (apparent) syntax. Recasting the sentencee.

Response to Anderson: You assert that two items are "correct" and "good grammar", respectively. I agree, in isolation, but that's beside the point: why use five correct/grammatical words when one will do. The more words, the less likely Wikipedians—particularly newbies—are likely to persist in reading the page and to comprehend its details. Neither "English speakers" nor "would" is necessary to the relevant meaning (it's conditional, not subjunctive mood). Same for "reasonable"—it actually weakens the statement. Read it without, and see. "Shorter is not always better", true, but often it is, as here, I argue. On "most", "majority", "greatest number"—why use any of these troublesome items? They're simply not necessary. "that readers most easily recognize" is stronger, neater and simpler. Isn't that what the policy means? On "consistent", the readers will justifiably wonder what on earth it refers to. Why complicate matters? Perhaps if you can explain why it's relevant, we might determine the best wording. Tony (talk) 13:19, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Disagree with many points here. I'll just take one which I think is the core issue: The more words, the less likely Wikipedians—particularly newbies—are likely to persist in reading the page and to comprehend its details. No. Shorter is not always better.
I suggest you give us a new sub-heading when raising a new specific issue. Andrewa (talk) 20:08, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm still on vacation; but for now:
  • Correctness and good grammar were Andrew's words, not mine; please follow the indentations. But since you (and I) agree with him, why the scare quotes ?
  • Laconism is not the only test of good style; it's one technique. When five words will be better understood than one, they should be used. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:13, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

On the matter of wordiness, I think this whole WP:NAME is ridiculously overblown. I agree with Tony: the more words they have, the less our guidelines will draw serious attention, and the less they will compel respect. Now, of course "shorter is not always better". But that detracts not a whit from Tony's point. What we need is a proper balance, to include the crucial details but to remain readable and therefore usable.

I, like Tony, am a centralist. I want Wikipedia's style guidelines to be accessible in one well-organised page, with as few appendages as possible. The hub should be WP:MOS; subsidiaries to that page should be few, and merely serve to amplify and detail that hard core of key recommendations. All style pages should be kept in well-regimented harmony. The present situation is chaotic; and, more worryingly, there is little appreciation of this over-arching problem, and little will to work together in a sustained way to fix it. I see no broad mechanisms for change, nor dialogue beyond the cohort of editors working on style guides – though clearly we need to collaborate with developers and the wider community to effect some quite pressing reforms.

Meanwhile, this page needs re-structuring, rationalising, and editing for consistency and clarity. I probably will stay away, since I don't want to waste my time, given the larger concern that I mention above.

– Noetica♬♩Talk 00:25, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm as willing as anyone to work together with anyone who will come to the party, and as passionate as anyone about quality. So, let's get started. As this is a key policy, I suggest that re-structuring, rationalising, and editing for consistency and clarity represents a complete refactor, and should be performed on a temporary copy. Slapping a tag that means under construction on a key policy is just making the chaotic situation worse (and putting it back twice in the face of consensus to remove it... words fail me... but that's past). Agreed? Supported? Other comments? Andrewa (talk) 03:27, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, if it's in the past, why do you keep drumming on about it? Please keep the personal out of it. Anderson, what are "scare quotes"? Tony (talk) 07:40, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Basically because I was responding to a personalised post... I, like Tony.... I look forward to your non-personalised answers to the non-personal questions I asked: Agreed? Supported? Andrewa (talk) 08:49, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
  • As the OED says online: under scare n2: scare quotes n. "quotation marks used to foreground a particular word or phrase, esp. with the intention of disassociating the user from the expression or from some implied connotation it carries." Our article, Scare quotes, expands beyond the central, minatory, sense. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:25, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Academic titles

Is there a place where usage of academic titles is discussed? I'm asking because I just came across the article Matthias Rath, which mentions his title as M.D.. In Germany, writing a non-obligatory doctoral thesis is a requirement of acquiring the right to carry the title "Dr. med.", i.e. people can complete their medical studies and work as fully approved medical practitioners without having acquired the additional academic title. So, my question is, is there a rule on how to treat cases like this example of the German medical doctor vs. medical practitioners without a doctoral level? It seems a bit inappropriate to simply "interpolate" it into the US system, neglecting the specifics of other countries. I dorftrotteltalk I 04:10, November 24, 2007 04:10, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Talk:Matthias Rath is probably the place to discuss this particular case... and wow, it's a scary place...!
Or, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Biography would be a good place to raise the more general question of such titles.
I notice that the M.D. article says It varies between countries, from being a first professional degree (medical diploma), to being a relatively rare higher doctoral academic research degree. Andrewa (talk) 12:35, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
The important thing is (especially when dealing with a status different than that in most English-speaking countries) is to make this clear in the article. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:05, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Agree. But I'm not sure there's any lattitude to be less careful when dealing with the status common to most English-speaking countries. In Australia, medicine is such a prestigious occupation that the opinions of people who have, in academic terms, only two first degrees (admittedly degrees that have both high standards and high entrance standards) are often treated with more deference than that given to the views of those who have (academic) doctoral degrees - even when the subject under discussion is in the field of the (academic) doctorates in question! Andrewa (talk) 16:40, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Then we may need to provide guidance (not here, I think): medicine is prestigious in the United States; but M.D. is in practice an invariably postgraduate degree. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:48, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Not so in Aust; There's a sense in which MD correctly applies only to a true doctoral degree, but it has also traditionally been used as a less formal way of saying what is formally designated MB BS. The Universities are trying to change this but old habits die hard... see the banner of for an example. Andrewa (talk) 10:53, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery links to Dr, where it says "Medical Doctor, Dentist or a Physician, a person who holds a MBBS, BDS or DDS degree." I can confirm that something similar happens in Germany, albeit very informal and definitely not academically correct, insofar as patients usually refer to physicians as "Dr.", no matter if the person in question "only" successfully completed the medical degrees, or whether he/she also produced a postgraduate doctoral thesis. I asked mainly as a matter of accuracy. I dorftrotteltalk I 11:27, November 30, 2007
Use of the honorific Dr is a different issue to having the letters MD after the name, although the parallels are considerable and I think obvious. In Australia, even a dentist with only a pass degree in dental surgery is entittled to use the title Dr, and most now do when acting in a professional capacity, but this was not the case forty years ago and so some older people still find it strange. Most doctors of medicine use it, the main exception being qualified surgeons, who then become Mr again (or for the first time if female), unless and until they take a higher degree (what I've called an academic doctorate above) in which case they become Dr again. Lots going on! Andrewa 00:18, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
"Earned" doctorate is what some people use, to distinguish it from "honorary" doctorate. It's originally an American term, and a useful one. I don't like "academic" doctorate. Tony (talk) 00:35, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
There's even room for doubt as to what constitutes an earned doctorate. There are four possible types of doctorate (some would say three):
  • The normal sort of PhD, which is an earned academic doctorate. You enrol for this, study for it and apply to be granted it.
  • Merit degress such as the Doctor of Science granted by the University of Sydney. You don't apply for one of these, it's granted for outstanding contributions to science. But these are arguably earned degrees, reviewed and refereed according to similar (but higher) criteria to a PhD, and is for specific work.
  • Courtesy titles such as the Dr honorific and MD titles sometimes used by MB BS holders.
  • The fourth is honorary degrees such as those granted to some prime ministers as a matter of course just by virtue of their office. Some would lump these in with merit degrees, and the line can be hard to draw, but at least some of these are more like courtesy titles than they are like earned degrees.
Lots going on! Andrewa 20:08, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

album art & WP:RS

I was editing the album article ...And Everything Reminds Me, just doing some citing, cleanup, etc. In my spartan search for reliable sources for the album, I came across its listing at, whereupon it's listed with the title all in lowercase. I thought that odd, especially since other albums at were capitalized expectedly (i.e. it wasn't just a German language thing), so I took a close look at the album art itself--it too had the lowercase titling. So in addition to working out the article, I moved it from ...And Everything Reminds Me to ...and everything reminds me with an edit summary of "proper capitalization per sourcing". I was undone in this move by Akrabbim (talk · contribs) who moved it back citing WP:NAME#Album and song titles and band names. We spoke, and he's well in the right per the guideline: I hold no animosity. But shouldn't specific reliable sourcing coupled with the album itself be considered prevalent? The redirect would catch any people searching with capitalization, and as far as I can tell, per reliable sourcing the lowercased version is the most common usage. Thoughts? — pd_THOR | =/\= | 04:14, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

This is an encyclopedia. One of the purposes to a house style is so people know where to look for articles. Someone looking for ...And Everything Reminds who knows the style will go to ...And Everything Reminds Me; someone who doesn't know the style is likely to go to one of ...And Everything Reminds Me or And Everything Reminds Me. Only someone who doesn't know the style and does know how the text appears on the album would go to ...and everything reminds me — and this case could be handled by a redirect. (This all assumes the current state of affairs in the house style, of course.) And how far do things go? The movie poster for 10 Things I Hate about You is printed as 10 things I hate about you — should the article's title reflect that? Should the band whose name often appears as "KoЯn" have their article under KoЯn (instead of Korn)? Should we try to match fonts as well? I think your suggestion and concern are perfectly understandable and reasonable, even though I disagree with your suggestion that there is need for change. Basically, I think the current state of affairs is both simple and minimizes people being unable to find articles that they are looking for. Alan smithee (talk) 19:30, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Why then are there exceptions, such as I ♥ Huckabees? — pd_THOR | =/\= | 18:25, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
The poster lists the film as i ♥ huckabees; the Wikipedia page for the film is I ♥ Huckabees. Are you suggesting that, because "♥" is not in the English alphabet, that the page should be titled I Heart Huckabees? Should the article about the Icelandic singer be titled Bjork (instead of Björk)? Perhaps I'm missing your point ... Alan smithee (talk) 09:14, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Proposed naming convention change

There is a current proposal to change a naming convention, which directly effects the the Manual of Style guideline, and the naming conventions policy. If you are interested, your input would be appreciated. Justin chat 06:32, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Use of Numero Sign in article titles

The following articles use the "Numero Sign" character in their titles:

This symbol does not render correctly for me in the article text on my Mac (except when editing the article), but does render on my PC. Seems like it would be good idea to use "No." instead. Kaldari (talk) 22:33, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Just noting that WP:MOS#Article_titles says: "Special characters such as the slash (/), plus sign (+), curly brackets ({ }) and square brackets ([ ]) are avoided; the ampersand (&) is replaced by and, unless it is part of a formal name." -- Boracay Bill (talk) 00:12, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

General audience vs specialists

The naming policy says that the names of Wikipedia articles should be optimized for "a general audience over specialists." Can anyone show me where this subject has been discussed? I'd like to know the rationale behind such a preference. Personally I'd rather have the article named according to what specialists consider to be the correct name of that topic, not to what most people think. For example, in my mother tongue, UK is most often referred to as "England" (Anglia), although this term is obviously incorrect since it actually has a different meaning. Now, if I follow the naming policy I would have to put the article on UK under the name "England", and solve the ambiguity some other way. Is this really the best solution?

I'm asking this following a naming dispute on the Romanian Wikipedia. The particular dispute is about naming the article on the Dutch language: The general public knows this language under the name "olandeză", but for linguists this name means a sub-group of the Dutch dialects (namely, the Hollandic), while for the whole language the linguists prefer the name "neerlandeză". This more politically-correct term is not unheard of, on the contrary, it is used in more than half of the reliable sources available on the subject, the only drawback being that the general public had less contact with it. The ultimate question is whether Wikipedia should learn from its readers, or the readers should learn from Wikipedia. Can anyone help us with some advice? — AdiJapan  10:47, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

  1. Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions/Archive 7#Proposed overall policy
  2. Please, (assuming that ro: is the Wikipedia you're talking about) discuss at ro:Wikipedia:Titluri (or rather: ro:Discuţie Wikipedia:Titluri, or an appropriate related page):
    • The article naming principles might be slightly different at Romanian Wikipedia. Depends on whether Romanian Wikipedians choose to follow exactly the same principles or provide a different set of exceptions/particularities adapted to the Romanian language;
    • I'm a Dutch speaker myself, living in Belgium: in general native English speakers and even Dutch speakers that have no acquaintance with Romanian language have no clue about connotations of "olandeză" or "neerlandeză" in Romanian. Even connotations of "nederlands/Nederlands" and "hollands/Hollands" in Dutch (not even speaking about the use of "nen 'ollander" in Flemish) are not necessarily the same as the connotations of their English-language equivalents ("hollandic" and "Dutch/from the Netherlands") in English. Sorry about not being able to be more helpful than that. --Francis Schonken (talk) 11:45, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for directing me to the right archive. I agree that may be better to write "black widow spider" than "Latrodectus mactans". I don't feel, however, that the rule can extend to all situations. In particular I wouldn't move, for example, the article Penis to some other name, otherwise very frequent and popular. There are no particular conotations for "olandeză" and "neerlandeză" in Romanian, so as far as I know this is not a concern. The only concern is that "olandeză" has two meanings: in usual speech it means Dutch, and this use is considered improper by linguists, while for them it means Hollandic.

As for the particular policies on the Romanian Wikipedia, we normally translate and use the en.wp policies --- there are very few exceptions, and they only pertain to the particularities of the language or to the smaller number of contributors. The policies related to content are identical to those on en.wp, that's why I came here to ask.

Now the bottom-line question is: Is there any solid argument for preferring those terms generally used by the general audience? Doesn't this go against the NPOV policy where in the specialists' works those terms are less used or even blamed as improper? — AdiJapan  13:01, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Re. translation of en:wp rules to other languages: here is one I don't think you translated: WP:MoS#National varieties of English. Nonetheless that MoS section resulted in Fixed-wing aircraft, which is in no way conforming to the overall-principle of naming conventions at en:wp. So there are multiple exceptions for the WP:NC policy principle at en:wp too.
Re. NPOV angle: see Wikipedia:NPOV tutorial#Article names, which links foremost to the WP:NC policy. Historically, I think naming conventions rather derived from the Manual of Style (so they're probably rather style recommendations than content recommendations), but nonetheless when it comes down to NPOV, the overall principle (which is in fact the only "policy" part of the NC policy - the rest are conventions/guidelines, see first sentence of the WP:NC page) is conceived as the NPOV principle applied to article names. There are two formulations for that principle, which for all intents and purposes are identical:
  1. first formulation (which is on fact the oldest): "Generally, article naming should prefer what the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature."
  2. second formulation of the same principle (younger and easier to understand): "The names of Wikipedia articles should be optimized for readers over editors, and for a general audience over specialists."
Answering your question: "Is there any solid argument for preferring those terms generally used by the general audience?" - yes there is: NPOV. recognisability (by the largest fraction of en:wikipedia's target audience) is the key word. So, Sea cucumber (no relation with the vegetable) and not Holothurian.
Re. "Doesn't this go against the NPOV policy where in the specialists' works those terms are less used or even blamed as improper?": no, for article naming a scientist's POV can be vastly more limited than the POV of the public at large. There's no POV in calling a sea cucumber... a sea cucumber. "Holothurian" is probably a bit more posh, which makes it less neutral. The scientist's POV should be explained in the article: article titles are too short to apply NPOV in the sense of reporting on all the major viewpoints. So, recognisability is the principle that most easily implements NPOV for article names (...and use redirects for the other POVs on how the topic of the article should be named). --Francis Schonken (talk) 18:05, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry, something is wrong here. The NPOV policy talks about the points of view expressed in reliable sources, not those of the general public. Recognizability is not a policy at Wikipedia. Verifiability is.
When two names are synonyms it's perfectly okay to choose the one that is more easily recognizable by the public. But only then --- and I think this should be clearly stated in the policy. Indeed, "Holothurian" should be a redirect to the Sea cucumber, and I agree this is a question of style. However, when the two names have more or less different meanings we have to take those meanings into account, and the whole thing becomes a question of content. For example, people prefer to say "America" when they mean the United States, but does it mean we should have that article unde the name "America"? Definitely no, because "America" actually means something else. Also, we must consider conotations, political correctness, acceptable language, NPOV issues, etc. Blindly choosing the most frequent term is definitely not the solution. And practice proves my point: nobody says "fixed-wing aircraft" in everyday speech, and yet that is the name of the article on planes.
I'm not sure what the phrase "reasonable minimum of ambiguity" is supposed to mean (it's too... ambiguous). Maybe that is the hidden answer to my objections?
(About ro.wp: We actually have an equivalent of WP:MoS#National varieties of English adapted for Romanian: ro:Wikipedia:Versiuni de ortografie română, and this is one of the exceptions I was referring to in my previous post. Moreover, while MoS is a guideline, ours is a policy, to avoid spelling switching edit wars. But this is not the point here.) — AdiJapan  03:23, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
I think it would be easier to explain the dilemma by building upon Mr. Schonken's "sea cucumber" example: what would you call the article about holothurians if "sea cucumber" was the scientific name for... say... algae. (Of course my example is absurd because we already know that "sea cucumber" is unambiguous, but I wanted to introduce the same ambiguity we were encountering, for the sake of the argument.) --Gutza T T+ 16:08, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Gutza, I don't think your hypothetical example clarifies much. Here's one that might be a better analogy at en:wp: Arabic numerals. --Francis Schonken (talk) 20:11, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Re. "The NPOV policy talks about the points of view expressed in reliable sources, not those of the general public." - that's what NPOV policy says about article content (also assuming that points of view of the general public will at least be mentioned in reliable sources - otherwise these sources wouldn't be all that reliable would they?). NPOV applied to article titles is described in Wikipedia:NPOV tutorial#Article names, which refers to the *policy* Wikipedia:Naming conventions. That are the rules for article names at en:wp, none other. The NPOV policy regulations about article content can't be applied just like that to article titles, for example because at en:wp only "one" point of view is allowed per page name. Multiple points of view, like for instance Bozen-Bolzano have been experimented with in page names (and are still accepted in redirects), but for the page where the content is only "one" point of view is allowed for the page title (otherwise we'd indeed have had Airplane-aeroplane or Aeroplane-airplane or A(e)(i)r(o)plane instead of Fixed-wing aircraft). Simplistically said, for article names generally the "majority POV" rules at en:wp, which is not a litteral application of the NPOV policy. Note that the issue would have been easier if all scientists would always agree on all points, but they don't. Anyway, WP:SPOV ("Scientific point of view"), proposed as a replacement of NPOV is a *rejected* proposal. Only in the domain of pseudo-science the scientific point of view takes precedence, even for those remote pseudoscientific views where hardly a scientist even took the trouble to examine the pseudoscientist's allegations.

Re. "Recognizability is not a policy at Wikipedia." - No, you're wrong: "recognisability" is a part of the *policy* formulation of Wikipedia:Naming conventions: "Generally, article naming should prefer what the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature." (bolding added)

Re. "Verifiability is [a policy at Wikipedia]." - yes, but as such the en:wp Verifiability policy (like other en:wp core content policies) is not applicable to page names, for instance, it is not possible to apply the {{fact}} tag (as explained in Wikipedia:Verifiability#Burden of evidence) in an article title. If in doubt over the suitability of a en:wp page name, other mechanisms (not explained at Wikipedia:Verifiability) have been developed, most notably (for instance) WP:RM. But again, solve these issues as you think most fit at ro:wp - for instance for a WP:RM type system one needs enough editors (at least some of which need to be admins) to involve themselves in the system. For en:wp however these are the rules, these are the systems, and we're not going to change them for a problem you can't get solved at ro:wp. Note that the *idea* of verifiability is however applied to page naming at en:wp too: it is usually easier to verify (via Wikipedia:Google test for instance) which is the most used name, than to "verify" which scientist's POV is the most "neutral", in the case scientists don't agree on the name of a topic. And many of the dozens of specific naming convention guidelines would also lean on some *verifiable* and *NPOV* solution to address particular issues, e.g. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (books)#When the title version "best known in English" can't be determined proposes such solution founded on verifiability and neutrality.

Re. "For example, people prefer to say 'America' when they mean the United States, but does it mean we should have that article unde the name 'America'?" - at en:wp this is treated as a page naming issue anyhow, for which naming conventions offer guidance. And there have been discussions in this sense: e.g. "American", as for example in American football, is allowed but American foreign policy redirects to Foreign relations of the United States, etc. At en:wp these are treated as page naming issues under naming conventions, not for instance at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard.

Re. "[...] because 'America' actually means something else." - covered by the Wikipedia:Naming conventions basic principle: "Generally, article naming should prefer what the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature." (bolding added). Yes, this is part of the answer to your objections. "reasonable minimum of ambiguity" is the sharpest this can be put in a policy-level formulation, while disambiguating is a complex field with many ifs and buts, treated at a guideline: Wikipedia:disambiguation. A general principle can't elaborate on these details.

Re. "Also, we must consider co[n]notations [...]" - covered for instance by Wikipedia:disambiguation, but by none of the core content policies afaik, at least not for article naming. For example because of connotations depending on context William of Orange is a disambig-type page and not a redirect to William III of Orange (as UK and Irish people would most easily assume), nor to William the Silent (as Dutch people, even when speaking English, would most easily assume).

Re. "[Also, we must consider] political correctness [...]" - at en:wp NPOV outdoes PC (political correctness), though it must be said that e.g. Mormons wringled in a foot at a naming convention: see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names)#Do not overdo it. Apart from that, for the political correctness of article names en:wp guidance does not go further than what is explained at Wikipedia:Naming conflict.

Re. "[Also, we must consider] acceptable language [...]" - I'm referring you to the same naming convention, Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names)#Do not overdo it. And to WP:NOT#CENSORED, resulting in e.g. "Stupid White Men" as a page name and not "Stupid White Men (book)", as explained at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (books)#Precision.

Re. "Blindly choosing the most frequent term is definitely not the solution." - Who said so? Did you really think we needed dozens of specific naming conventions if we could do things "blindly" in any way?

Re. "And practice proves my point: nobody says "fixed-wing aircraft" in everyday speech, and yet that is the name of the article on planes." - covered by "Generally, article naming should prefer what the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature." (bolding added) - the use of "generally" indicates exceptions; no, practice does not prove your point.

re. "We actually have an equivalent of WP:MoS#National varieties of English adapted for Romanian: ro:Wikipedia:Versiuni de ortografie română" - so you translated "English" by "română"? That doen't seem like a "translation" to me...

Resuming, three points:

  • Article naming issues are covered by naming conventions at en:wp;
  • Although naming conventions use language adapted to "page naming" issues, they are not subverting core content policies in any way, they only show the way how to implement the ideas of these content policies (and style guidance) in a page naming context.
  • Solve ro:wp problems at ro:wp. Especially for language-dependent exceptions translation is a questionable technique. --Francis Schonken (talk) 20:11, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the links, a couple of them are useful indeed. So, in the end, the short answer is "Choose the most frequent name, but do that without creating ambiguity or violating other policies, and allow exceptions where reasonable." (I won't comment on details, I'm afraid your reply will be even longer.) — AdiJapan  16:11, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Policy Reconsideration? Official name versus the most easily recognizable when it comes to the names of PEOPLE

In the case of the James D. Watson page, it has become a matter of debate whether the most popular name versus the official name should be used when it comes to a page name. Currently, Wikipedia's policy states that "Generally, article naming should prefer what the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature. This is justified by the following principle: The names of Wikipedia articles should be optimized for readers over editors, and for a general audience over specialists." This may be fine for terms or amimals, or inanimage objects, but when it comes to the names of individuals, shouldn't the legally recognizable name of the individual be used? I have copied a portion of the debate from the Watson page, which is beginning to sound more like an issue that has wider implications for Wikipedia policy than simply the James D. Watson page alone. The debate started when someone suggested a page move from "James D. Watson" to "James Watson" based on Google results. I thought that the contributors to this page might find the debate (below) interesting:

Requested move

_ _ IMO James D. Watson should be renamed to James Watson, with a ToP Dab to James Watson (disambiguation) that begins "This is about the DNA researcher; ....". (This would of course be preceded by a move of the existing James Watson Dab to James Watson (disambiguation).) _ _ James D. Watson is precluded as the title for his article by WP:UCN: Googling produces

about 30,200 for "James D. Watson" OR "James Dewey Watson" DNA vs.

about 474,000 for "James Watson" DNA showing a ratio of about 16:1 favoring the shortest form. _ _ And he also appears to be the primary person meant by "James Watson":

Googling "James Watson" actor gives 1/4 the hits that "James Watson" DNA does, even tho the 2nd misses the "James D. Watson" refs, and even tho presumably many of the actor's lks are for minor roles in non-notable films (while JW's mentions in articles that mention DNA are probably at least strong "supporting roles"); and "James Watson" 1922 judge and "James Lopez Watson" are both in the low 4 figures. IMO the other James Watsons are less likely to be sought: they are very short, in most case perfunctory, bios, and are linked to by very few other articles. (Note that the many lks to the Calgary mayor are in fact multiple copies, from all the other Calgary mayors, of the lk to him in a templated list of Calgary mayors.) Altho Googling "James Watson" DNA produces just under half the hits of "James Watson" -DNA most of those more numerous hits fail to bear against the move: Of the first 10 hits, 3 are for the actor, 3 for James D. Watson (including one purporting to be a page created by him!), 1 for the 20th-cent. pol, 1 for a "James Watson Cronin", and 2 for James Watsons not appearing on the James Watson Dab. In the next few Google pages, the proportion of James D. Watson hits increases, and no new James Watson-Dab-page people appear. _ _ IMO, i am being overcautious in accepting the advice of a colleague to pursue this via Wikipedia:Requested moves rather than treating it as uncontroversial. --Jerzy•t 03:35 & 03:57, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

agree. I think this is a very good idea, for the reasons stated by Jerzy. I'd been thinking along the same lines myself, but didn't have enough enthusiasm to start it. --TJRC (talk) 03:59, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

I am totally opposed to this change. First of all, why are Google results driving what a person's name is in Wikipedia? Why not just have a redirect page from "James Watson" to this existing page? There are several reasons why I am opposed to the proposed change.

1. First of all, the name in Wikipedia should be the name the individual being written about actually goes by. That would be either "Dr. Watson" or "Dr. James D. Watson" (formal), "James D. Watson" (normal), or "Jim" (familiar). Examples of these useages are documented in the archives at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Also, the way the individual signs their name--in book signings for example, is also important. That would be "James D. Watson".

2. The name the individual publishes under is the most formally recognized name. That would be "James D. Watson"

3. There already exists a naming system for individuals in instances like this. It is not a new concept, especially for librarians. Librarians use the LCNAF or the Library of Congress Name Authority File when determining the correct author name when cataloging books. Any author name can be searched in the LCNAF which is freely available online: Dr. Watson is listed in the LCNAF as "Watson, James D., 1928- ". The closest and therefore the best choice to use here is "James D. Watson" (reversed and without the birth date). When a new individual publishes a book, it is up to NACO members to establish the formal name used by the Library of Congress. (About NACO: Birth and death dates (when applicable) are only used when there is already someone by that name who is in their system. The name is then added to the LCNAF. Writers are encouraged to stick to the name they are assigned so that all of their works can be easily grouped (collocated) together under the same unique name. This also prevents publications by different authors sharing similar names from being confused with one another. As Wikipedia expands, it might be a good idea to keep this concept in mind and to refer on a regular basis to the usage of the individual's name in the LCNAF. How do the Wikipedia administrators plan to disambiguate when there are multiple people sharing the same name? Is there a standards policy about this to help with consistency throughout the Wikipedia project? If not, maybe there should be. It is not really that difficult to look up an individual and find their authorized name. In the case of "James Watson" there are actually 17 different entries in the LCNAF--that is potentially 17 or so future disambiguations needed down the road as Wikipedia expands and people write new articles. There are 11 LCNAF entries just under "Watson, James D." (or middle name that begins with "D") alone.

4. On a selfish note, as an individual who has significantly contributed to this article, I am left wondering what will happen to the history of my contributions, my discussions on talk pages, etc. if this page is moved? Will all of these be moved as well? If not, I would have a personal objection as well as the above professional objections.

Shannon bohle (talk) 09:03, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Agree that Google should not have the final word in this. As to your contribution history, yes that will be preserved, we are very particular about this. Andrewa (talk) 17:12, 17 December 2007 (UTC) If the page "moves" then everything will move with it, I would think that this page should stay the way it is - and maybe a disambiguation page could be made for 'James Watson' but I have no strong feelings about the issue. Hardyplants (talk) 09 48, 16 December 2007 (UTC) A disambig page exists already. Also oppose any move. Nothing worse than trying to find one person and Wikipedia trying to give you the answer it thinks you're after.--Koncorde (talk) 16:43, 16 December 2007 (UTC) Oppose: if you Google just "Watson DNA" you get 636,000 hits. Of course if you use fewer terms you get more hits. So does that mean we should move the article to just Watson? He signs his books as James D. Watson. So that's his official name. Eubulide (talk) 17:17, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

I too oppose the idea of shortening the name of the article to James Watson. What we should try to advocate is that Wikipedia get a much better search engine, not renaming people with common names and making Non NPOV assumptions about what "most" people want to see. I mean this is a silly request that should not be acted upon. My hope is that the number of opposition need not be in the majority to prove there is no consensus. By the way consensus means EVERYONE agrees not just the majority. James D Watson is more accurate and simply the right thing to do when there are multiple James Watson's in the world. Let's be fair and not pander do the lowest common denominator. Remember wikipedia is NOT google. It is an encyclopedia. Wikipedia should arrange a deal with Google to provide modern search capabilities for the site. Editors should not try generalize articles to suit searching. Period.Landerman56 (talk) 01:40, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

No, what we are after here is rough consensus, which doesn't need to be unanimous. As to pandering to the lowest common denominator, that's an emotive way of rephrasing Wikipedia official policy, but it is exactly what the policy says we should do in the case of article names (but not neccessarily content), and for good reasons. Andrewa (talk) 17:07, 17 December 2007 (UTC) There seems to be very strong oppostition to this move. James D Watson is the name used on every article in scientific journals written by the subject of this article. There is simply no reason to change his name. And the reason for it is as inane as any reason I could imagine. To think that wikipedia needs to tailor content to suit search engines is a terrible terrible idea. It is very good indeed to see others share my view. Certainly there is no consensus and any attempt to declare one will meet stiff opposition. --Landerman56 (talk) 01:46, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Actually, consensus at WP means neither majority nor unanimity, bcz those responsible for detecting consensus are counseled to give more weight to the quality of arguments than to number of advocates. At this point, each arguments that have been made against the move is compatible with at least one well-established WP guideline. Those opposed should study WP:MOS, WP:NC, WP:UCN, WP:DAB, and/or WP:GT, and accordingly revise either their position, or their arguments for it. (There is one argument that specifically invites browsing a list of articles whose titles begin with "Dr."; consult WP:RDR if necessary.) This is not so urgent that it needs immediate decision, but if nothing to the point is said against the move in a few days, i will declare it decided, and make the move myself (which requires admin status, last time i checked). --Jerzy•t 04:00, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Agree, but I caution against the nominator performing the move... better to leave it to another admin. Andrewa (talk) 17:07, 17 December 2007 (UTC) Agree that James D Watson is a more common official name, but simply James Watson satisifes the policy at WP:NC, the more specific guideline at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) and the others quoted at Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography#Guidelines. The shorter name is more commonly recognised, and with reasonable lack of ambiguity as he's by far the most famous. Those who think the official name should take precedence might like to contribute to the discussion at User talk:Andrewa/systematic names. Andrewa (talk) 17:07, 17 December 2007 (UTC) Support the move, but IMO it's good that it went through WP:RM so this discussion could take place... it would have ended up here anyway. See arguments above. Andrewa (talk) 17:07, 17 December 2007 (UTC) Oppose wholeheartedly Just in case previous comment is glossed over. The idea of having James Watson here then an apologetic "Sorry, isn't this the guy we thought you were after? - try clicking here and looking through the list.." sounds a bit silly. A fine example of that kind of lunatic re-routing logic is John F Kennedy. When you type in John Kennedy, it redirects to his page (regardless of the number of people listed in the John Kennedy disambiguation page). Is he the most famous John Kennedy around? Well yes if you're a west-o-centric politics follower who thinks John F Kennedy is the same as John Kennedy. Less so if you're after the Celtic football player and don't even know who JFK is. In a case like JFK's it seems to make more sense to redirect to the disambiguate if someone types in "John Kennedy" (because you'd presume most people realise the 'F' is quite important) and let people select the correct person first - rather than having circular logic try to predict which page they wanted. "James Watson" googled incidentally draws up the James D. Watson article here first anyways. I feel the name James D. Watson is accurate on the basis of WP:NPC. Notably that it is:

A - the name that is most generally recognisable B - the name that is unambiguous with the name of other articles (of which there are a dozen other James Watsons). If you rename this topic you will have to rename it James Watson (genetecist) or similar. And then if you hi-jack the name James Watson to route directly to him, then you'll have to have a link to a seperate disambig page.

In the end you're second guessing what people are looking for, how they will look for it, and what results they're after. Really don't understand the logic of it when by removing the "unambiguous" 'D' you make him ambiguous, then have to unambiguate him through a job title.--Koncorde (talk) 00:18, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

The logic is that (supporters of the move claim that) this James Watson is sufficiently famous that when people say James Watson this is normally who they mean, and when they want a name for him they normally say James Watson and leave out the D. Certainly there are other James Watsons, and other James D Watsons, so neither name is strictly unambiguous. Andrewa (talk) 00:46, 18 December 2007 (UTC) If you use that logic wouldn't we be naming the article Jim Watson? That's what most scientists I know say. David D. (Talk) 04:38, 18 December 2007 (UTC) No, or at least not unless these scientists are representative of the English-speaking population in general. Good question. Now that you mention it, I have heard him called that too, particularly by scientists in his particular field. But I don't think it's a suitable name for the article, as it's not generally recognised. Andrewa (talk) 12:34, 18 December 2007 (UTC) The argument to rename the page does not hold water. To take someone's name and shorten it does a disservice to the namesake of the article. Dr James D. Watson is how he himself signs his name. That is fact and should be the most compelling reason to leave the article as is. Again moving the article will result in more opposition. There is NO consensue and those in support of a move have not brought forth enough compelling benefit. The definition of consensus is that an agreement is made not that the majority agrees. It means that it is acceptable. It seems to me there really isn't much room here to compromise since it's such a black and white issue. Leave the article as is and move onto something more productive. There are no less than 12 James Watson's in Wikipedia. It is surely not up to a few editors to decide for the world which page should get the most "HITS". Wikipedia is not about hits. And please address this fact and what I have said before about the separation of search engine from an encyclopedia. Keep this conversation about the facts. That is how you build consensus. This move cannot be done without addressing the very points I among others have made. Declaring a consensus would run afoul of acting in good faith. So please read our carefully drafted thoughts and address our concerns. And please do so without throwing up so called wikipedia acronyms. That proves nothing. Make us believe in your arguments and we just might come to see the world as you do. Landerman56 (talk) 04:29, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

The editor who began this discussion last stated the following:

"This is not so urgent that it needs immediate decision, but if nothing to the point is said against the move in a few days, i will declare it decided, and make the move myself (which requires admin status, last time i checked)."

My opinion is of course this is not urgent and my argument is it is also very unnecessary. Furthermore, a large percentage of readers are enjoying the holiday season so putting up your own ultimatum is really just disingenous. I agree with the other editor who wrote above that perhaps the one advocating the move should not be the one to perform it. I propose to table this discussion until perhaps we get evidence that there is indeed a problem here with the name as it currently stands. Where is the proof that anyone is confused by the full accurate name used as the title. Does anyone have network click data or has any user complained on these pages about difficulty in finding this article. I mean at the very least there should be evidence that there exist a problem to which the proposed solution would address. I think I've said enough for now on this topic. Again I propose we table this ill-conceived idea until further evidence and discussion is had. Let's also refrain from making deadlines. I am watching among other contributors and wikipedia does not operate and should not operate by fiat. Landerman56 (talk) 04:40, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

For the record, I'd oppose such a move. This is his publication name that makes more sense for its home. We can have redirects to this page from other options. David D. (Talk) 04:41, 18 December 2007 (UTC) Oppose move, but support redirecting James Watson here. We do try to make it as likely as possible that people will find what they expect when they type a name in the search bar and hit "Go", and I believe that this is indeed the James Watson that most people would have in mind when they do that. --Itub (talk) 09:25, 18 December 2007 (UTC) Jerzy motivated the proposed move by: "James D. Watson is precluded as the title for his article by WP:UCN". I couldn't find anything in it that precludes James D. Watson. Could you be more precise and quote the passage where this is stated? Eubulide (talk) 17:49, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Retrieved from ""

All comments are welcome.

Shannon bohle (talk) 18:42, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Russian patronymic

Is there a specific guideline somewhere on whether to use the Russian patronymic in a title of an article?

Or is just "use the common English name"? --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 13:26, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Also disambiguation. Alexander Pushkin, with Sergeyevich in the first line; but Pyotr Andreyevich Tolstoy as opposed to Pyotr Aleksandrovich Tolstoy. (We should probably use Peter in both cases; but that's another question.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:57, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Using patronymics just for disambiguity is certainly wrong; we could do this with obscure middle names for English etc people, but think of the chaos that would result! Both of these should have a disam note in my view. Johnbod (talk) 19:03, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
We don't have an explicit guideline, but, contrary to what Johnbod says above, we do in fact prefer to use patronymics in practice when ambiguity exists; i.e., articles about people with the same first name/last name should be disambiguated using patronymics (e.g., Valentin Kozmich Ivanov vs. Valentin Valentinovich Ivanov), but unique first/last name combinations should not be disambiguated (Konstantin Ivanov). If you have two people with the same first/last name and don't know the patronymic, only then you should disambiguate by occupation (Vladimir Ivanov (footballer)). While you'll find that in practice these guidelines are not always enforced, it is a good practice to follow.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 19:12, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
And most writing in English does follow the Russian practice of using patronymics (or initials) to distinguish people of the same first and last name; so we are following English practice here. The Russian patronymic is more commonly used than most English middle names. (In any case, read the two articles: disambiguation by occupation is going to be difficult and unpredictable, as in this example; both Peter Tolstoys were statesmen and ambassadors.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:34, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Valentin Ivanov has a disam page, so that is ok. In that case, where they are father & son in the same field, it is true to say "most writing in English does follow the Russian practice of using patronymics (or initials) to distinguish people of the same first and last name", but that is clearly not the case when for example a modern scientist and a 19th century politician share the same first and last name. What I am saying is that such articles should not be set up with patronymics & left as a job done. At the least a redirect, or disam page where there are two, should be set up for the simple name without patronymic. Should we add to the page on this? Johnbod (talk) 23:30, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the answers.
I asked it, because there is a discussion in the new Hebrew article about Maria Vladimirovna, Grand Duchess of Russia - should the article title include the patronymic? Following the practice from the Russian Wikipedia is not so good, because they write the patronymic always and without exception, and it is not so practical for other languages.
I am a Russian speaker, and it seems intuitive to me that in Russian for a member of the royal family the patronymic is more important to mention than the surname, and that this rule may be carried to other languages. However, that's just my intuition, and i am not really sure whether this actually is a rule. Any help with finding sources for rules in this matter will be appreciated. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 22:20, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Our naming conventions for nobility are documented, more or less, at WP:NCNT; they include considerations, like pre-emptive disambiguation, in which the Hebrew WP may or may not wish to copy us. For what it is worth, we do not use Romanov; we do use patronymics - in this case, because of all the other people listed at Grand Duchess Maria. (Note the difference in order; in part because we do not give pretenders the titles to which they pretend until they acquire them. On this, I would do whatever the Hebrew WP does for the present Count of Paris: we use Henri, comte de Paris, duc de France.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:20, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Padan Plain

In case anybody is wondering where this is, it is the valley of the Po River; the present title is a calque of the Italian pianura Padana. Would people here mind wieghing in, or we reconsider having article names what English speakers would "most easily recognize"? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:50, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Need Supplementary Manuals on Israel and Palestine

Happened to discover these manuals today (blue box on right of this article) and that there were several with information about how to write about a certain countries. In my experience, all hell breaks lose whenever one writes anything perceived as too critical about Israel (and perhaps too nice about Palestinians, or any reference to original names of any land that Israel confiscated from them). Of course, coming up with such a manual would be hell too, but Wikipedians rush in where angels fear to tread?? My only personal run in with that process was in editing Samson Option and I confess I lost my temper at first. Since then I've run into a lot of articles and certain users whose talk pages illustrated a lot of abuses on this topic.

I noticed the Islam Manuel had a note on not using word "terrorism" freely, so there certainly is a precedent there for some relevant notes. Also maybe some warnings against canvassing and other strange things that seem to happen when one is foolish enough to try to edit articles with sourced, reliable information that some don't like. Starting with a warning one is likely to get wikilawyering up the butt if one edits on these topics might be a good, so at least people won't get ticked off immediately or stop editing wikipedia all together in total disgust (which I almost did at one point, and from personal experience with just one article). Carol Moore 02:22, 30 December 2007 (UTC)CarolMooreDC talk

Robert A Wild, S.J.

Do we include titles or post-nomials in titles? Mbisanz (talk) 07:28, 30 December 2007 (UTC)


Are there any guidelines for namimg/disambiguating articles about newspapers? I'm guessing not:

Many use Name (Place) (The Star (London), The Star (South Africa)) but there's also plenty which use "(newspaper") (Helix (newspaper), The Post (Pakistani newspaper)). --kingboyk (talk) 22:17, 5 January 2008 (UTC)


An RFC on content related to this convention has been opened, comments are welcome. MBisanz talk 01:37, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

RfC on naming issue

A Request for Comment about a conflicted name has been opened here: Talk:Scharnhorst_class_battlecruiser#Request_for_Comment:_Battleships_or_Battlecruisers.3F. Views from editors involved with naming guidelines and uninvolved with the dispute are encouraged. The Land (talk) 15:59, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

All Blacks

The New Zealand national rugby union team are almost always referred to as the All Blacks in New Zealand Where are they not almost always referred to as the All Blacks? --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 17:25, 17 January 2008 (UTC)


Is there a naming convention for churches (buildings, rather than denominations)? Or even, more specifically, for UK (anglican) (parish) churches? Looking at Category:United Kingdom church stubs (OK, so it's stubs rather than established articles, but shows a wider range than other cats I could find) shows a nightmare. "Church of" or not? "St" or "St."? "St Name" or "St Name's"? "St Name Town" or "St Name, Town"? The "DEFSORT"s for those churches must be a wide variety too, seeing how it sorts. I can't find a naming convention, but it seems unlikely that this hasn't been thrashed out somewhere. Any ideas? PamD (talk) 09:39, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

I'd say call the church what it calls itself; for example, a few I know of (just for examples, they may or may not be notable):
  • St. Pius X Church (no possessive)
  • St. Peter's Church (possessive)
  • Church of St. Mary The Virgin
  • Mary Queen of Peace Church
  • Church of the Good Thief
  • St. Peter's Basilica
  • Basilica of St. John the Baptist
  • Gower Street United Church
As for St. vs St vs Saint, they should follow the usage by that church, as they are proper names, just like that of a sainted city (St. John's, NL, vs Saint John, NB; never St for either).
"St" is common UK usage, as is acknowledged in the historic/inactive Wikipedia:Naming conventions (architecture)! PamD (talk) 16:31, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
If you re-read what I said, I am in agreementg with you (altho' perhaps I should have been more explicit). I said follow the usage of the particular church. I used two examples of Canadian cities named for saints, where the spelling of "Saint" is actually a touchy subject. As for the abjuration of the un-perioded "St", that applies only to that particular example; if a church actually used "St", then that's where the article title should be. Hope that clears up my position. --SigPig |SEND - OVER 17:25, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
Personally, I'd only use a town name as a disambig as necessary: Basilica of St. John the Baptist; St. John's Church (Podunk); etc.
As for DEFSORTING, tho', that is indeed one for thrashing. I know that a lot of church parish listings sort by name, including the honorific "St." -- thus all the saints are listed under "S", but that seems a bit unwieldy to me. My suggestions:
  • Article title at the church's proper name: St, St., Saint as applicable.
  • Sort by namesake, ignoring "st." honorific, church type (chapel, cathedral, etc), or denom (RC, United, etc). Church types and denoms are covered in other categories and need a sort method.
  • For saints with two names, sort by forename ("Francis Xavier" under "F", next to "Francis of Assisi")
I'd therefore sort my above examples thus:
  • Church of the Good Thief
  • Gower Street United Church
  • Basilica of St. John the Baptist
  • Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
  • Mary Queen of Peace Church
  • Church of St. Mary The Virgin
  • St. Peter's Basilica
  • St. Peter's Church
  • St. Pius X Church
Thoughts, anyone? --SigPig |SEND - OVER 11:04, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Tech. articles with numbers

Should the number be written in words, or left as is? cf. 3G, 4G 3CCD. My intuition is to use the most common name, but I got into a debate with another editor over this, so I want to know what the guidelines say.--Adoniscik (talk) 17:06, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Comma convention for places outside the US (and perhaps a few other countries)

Forgive me for bringing this up again, but there seems to be a lack of clarity in our guidelines regarding the use or non-use of the Paris, Texas style for place names. I often come across references to London, England or Paris, France and suchlike. Such usage is highly inappropriate for places in countries where it is not customary. I have read much of the endless debates about the question, but there does not seem to be a clear statement that this practice should be limited to place names in the US (and perhaps Australia, if I am not mistaken). Do we have any policy/style guide/whatever to govern that practice? Kosebamse (talk) 11:22, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

It's apparently common in Canada and Mexico, as well. I also don't think it should be discouraged in other countries where the local disambiguation methods are more ambiguous, such as Great Britain. But the local diambiguation should be preferred. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 14:25, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
The guideline is in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (settlements). — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 14:27, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, that had escaped my attention. Kosebamse (talk) 18:24, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
My view on this is that local disambiguation (or lack thereof) should always be preferred. For example, the U.S. "comma convention" arose because those of us here in the States use the "city, state" form to describe cities, especially when they're not universally well-known. For example, we'd say "I have to go to a business meeting in Chicago" or "I have to go to a business meeting in Redding, California". We say "Chicago, Illinois" when we have reason to believe the other person we're talking to doesn't know where Chicago is, and we just say "Redding" if the other person likely knows where that is. In the U.K., they disambiguate by county rather than by constituent country, so an English person might say "Blackburn, Lancashire", but not "Blackburn, England". That's one of many reasons I don't think the U.S.-specific form should be used everywhere. szyslak 02:12, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Naming Conventions: Monarchs

The naming convention for monarchs has previously been an exception to Wikipedia's general naming conventions. Efforts are now being made to bring them in line, with a propoasl for the most common name for a monarch to take precedence. (eg. William the Conqueror, Napoleon Bonaparte, Mary, Queen of Scots.) Please consider the proposals at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (names and titles)#Proposals to change Monarchal naming conventions so we can get wide consensus on this matter. Thanks. Gwinva (talk) 22:13, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Legal name change(anglicised names)

How would you label an article about a person who has changed their name legally, such as Paul Neumann to Paul Newman? Would you use Paul Newman (Neumann)? Many persons (both living and dead) in America have anglicised names. What is the proper use on Wikipedia?DavidPickett (talk) 16:56, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

See WP:MOSBIO. It pretty well covers how the lead paragraph handles names.--Bobblehead (rants) 01:08, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Currency name guidelines

Current guidelines at WP:WikiProject Numismatics that call for currency articles to be at their native rather than English names appear to be an attempt to supersede WP:UE and WP:UCN. Please discuss proposed changes at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Numismatics/Style#Guidelines change proposal. — AjaxSmack 23:07, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

RfC: Should titles of article on units of the form "X per Y" be singular or plural?

Should articles of the form "X per Y" be singular (e.g. metre per second) for consistency with articles such as metre, kilogram, etc., or plural (e.g. kilometres per hour) to reflect common usage? Oli Filth(talk) 23:31, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

NOTE: This discussion was originally at Talk:Kilometres per hour; I've moved it here in the hope that it would elicit a few more opinions (currently only have me, an opposing editor and anon. IP).


I posted this RfC not about this article in particular, but a whole range of articles, of which there is some discrepancy in style, e.g. metre per second, cycle per second, kilometres per hour, miles per hour, etc. In my opinion, in each case, when talking about the unit, we're talking about one unit, so the title should be singular. At the very least, this leads to consistency with the simpler units, such as metre, pound, which are obviously all singular.

However, not everyone agrees; e.g. the first comment on Talk:Kilometres per hour, or Talk:Cycle per second#Why it is "cycles-", not "cycle-", per second. Oli Filth(talk) 23:47, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

I support plural, where that's how it's colloquially said. Here's how I see it: X per Y (let's say Kilometers per Hour, for example) is a unit -- a quantifiable noun. Therefore, one says "How many?". And you would say "How many kilometers per hour?", not "How many kilometer per hour?". Mr. P. S. Phillips (talk) 00:46, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Your argument could be applied to e.g. metres ("How many metres?"), or apples ("How many apples?"). But both those articles are entitled in the singular (metre, apple), because the subject is a/an/the metre/apple (i.e. a single entity). Oli Filth(talk) 01:04, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Who maintains your logic train, Amtrak?. The article title here isn't [A] cycle, or [A] kilometer. It's in the form of "X's per Y". Mr. P. S. Phillips (talk) 01:15, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
As a UK resident, I have to assume there's some US in-joke in the Amtrak reference!
To the point in hand, what I'm postulating is that the current article title is inconsistent (and in this particular case, the lead is incorrect). "Kilometres per hour is a unit..." is inconsistent with "A kilometre is a unit..." (see kilometre); one is plural, the other singular. For grammatical equivalence, the second example would have to be "Kilometres is a unit...".
In fact, after a little digging just now, I may have answered my RfC concern myself. From Wikipedia:Naming conventions#Prefer singular nouns: "In general only create page titles that are in the singular, unless that noun is always in a plural form in English". I don't think this falls into the exceptions listed there, as they are all sets or collective plurals. Oli Filth(talk) 01:32, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understood what you just said. In an article about kilometers, the appropriate title would be "Kilometer", and the article might start with "A kilometer is a unit of distance equal to 1000 meters" or something like that. In an article about kilometers per hour -- where, except in the rare case of 1 kilometer per hour, the plural is always used -- it would seem/feel appropriate to go with "Kilometers per hour" as the article title. Mr. P. S. Phillips (talk) 02:36, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
What I was attempting to get at was that the language and titles were inconsistent between two articles that ought to be fairly similar, and that the grammar of the lead to Kilometres per hour is incorrect.
By what metric do you consider "1 kilometre per hour" to be rarer than "x kilometres per hour" (where x is plural), but "x kilometres" (for example) to be rarer than "1 kilometre"? # of Google hits is certainly not it, for example:
(similar ratios appear if you US-ify the spellings).
Even if the Google counts had shown differently, I think the Wiki style guide I cited above is fairly explicit on the matter. If I'd known it existed beforehand, I don't think I'd even have started this RfC! Oli Filth(talk) 23:25, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Use plural, it is the most common usage, and used in the generic case. In 0 mph, it is not "mile" but "miles", only for the unit measurement is the singular form used, and thus it is a special case. We should not use special cases for article titles. (talk) 14:24, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
That logic applies to pretty much every noun in the English language. Are you suggesting we also change all article titles accordingly? Besides which, the Wiki guideline cited above is quite clear about what to do. Oli Filth(talk) 16:43, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
(A) No, he said nothing about changing all articles. He was talking about THIS article, and others related to it -- articles about a VECTOR unit (X per Y; Amount per Time). And he's correct -- "kilometer per hour" is grammatically incorrect. (B) You're misunderstanding the Wikipedia policy. Also, in light of what you've been told repeatedly, perhaps it's time to consider WP:IAR. Mr. P. S. Phillips (talk) 00:13, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Whilst that's what he said directly, by applying his logic elsewhere, it would imply that all noun-based article titles ought to be changed. My whole argument all along has been that there's nothing special about nouns of the form "X per Y". By what grammatical rule is "kilometer per hour" incorrect? (e.g. "I eat one chocolate bar per day", "In all states except Utah, there is one wife per husband", "Every marking on my speedometer denotes an increase of a single kilometre per hour".) And how am I misunderstanding the policy?
IAR isn't a carte blanche reason (on its own) for doing something that contradicts Wiki policies, guidelines or standard practice; see WP:IAR?#What ignore all rules does not mean. Neither you nor the anonymous IP editor have convinced me of any rationale as to why "X per Y" is gramatically/syntactically/semantically different from other noun forms, such that we should "ignore the rules" and:
  1. Have titles whose form is inconsistent with the vast majority of other article titles.
  2. Declare a special case exempt from Wikipedia:Naming conventions#Prefer singular nouns.
Oli Filth(talk) 01:26, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Listen, Oil Filth, I understand what you're saying -- but you don't seem to get what I'm saying. We're talking about language here, and the ultimate trump card when it comes to language is "what the majority uses". I already addressed the "one chocolate bar per day" thing -- the ONLY time when an X per Y (vector quantity) is singular is in the case of one, or less than one (i.e. "half a chocolate bar per day"). Let me give you an example of how this works: if I asked you what units the speedometers in cars in the UK use, what would you answer? You'd say "kilometers per hour", not "kilometer per hour". And if you asked me what unit they use in the USA, I'd say "miles per hour", nor "mile per hour". The fuel efficiency of vehicles is measured in "miles per gallon" (or "kilometeres per liter"). The plural is used, NOT the singular. This is mostly a grammatical thing; if you have X per Y, it is assumed that you have more than one X per Y (hence you're using that as a basis of measurement) -- and, of course, more than one = plural. However, it's also a colloquial thing -- it's what we use; it's how we commonly speak. And ultimately, that makes it correct. I'm citing WP:IAR for you because I'm getting the impression you won't be able to sleep at night until/unless you can reconcile this with the singular/plural policy. If your reading of a WP policy would direct you to do something in a way which is incorrect (as outlined previously), then either (a) your reading of that policy is incorrect, or (b) the policy should not be applied to the case in question. Mr. P. S. Phillips (talk) 07:09, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm getting the impression we're going round in circles here. "the ONLY time when an X per Y (vector quantity) is singular is in the case of one" of course applies to any noun. Your new example still doesn't hold sway, because it holds for any unit: "What units does your ruler measure in?" "Inches". (Incidentally, "X per Y" doesn't make it a vector unit or quantity.)
If you can come up with an example which I can't immediately turn around and apply to any noun (and specifically, non-compound units), then maybe we'd get somewhere!
I originally thought it would be a fairly uncontentious matter to update some article titles for consistency (and as I know now, matching an established guideline). The only reason I've given such elongated responses is because you've exhibited a fair amount of resistance to the idea, using arguments which, at least as far as I'm concerned, are erroneous (although I get the impression you'd say the same about mine!). Oli Filth(talk) 13:51, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
What I'm saying is that your perverse desire to enforce absolute homogeneity with this issue is preventing you from realizing the fact that logically, and -- more importantly -- colloquially, the plural is used in X per Y quantities...and therefore should be the format used for naming articles about X per Y units. You completely ignored my very logical argument about cars, which I will repeat for you: "Let me give you an example of how this works: if I asked you what units the speedometers in cars in the UK use, what would you answer? You'd say "kilometers per hour", not "kilometer per hour". And if you asked me what unit they use in the USA, I'd say "miles per hour", nor "mile per hour". The fuel efficiency of vehicles is measured in "miles per gallon" (or "kilometeres per liter"). The plural is used, NOT the singular." WE'RE NOT TALKING about any old noun here -- there's a big difference between "inch" and "miles per hour". As I've said about eighty billion times now, X per Y values (i.e. miles per hour) are DIFFERENT than simple X values (i.e. inches). Again: "If you have X per Y, it is assumed that you have more than one X per Y (hence you're using that as a basis of measurement) -- and, of course, more than one = plural." What about this do you find confusing? Mr. P. S. Phillips (talk) 14:31, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Call it "perverse" if you like; I don't think there's anything wrong with upholding consistency where appropriate; indeed that's the whole point of the WP:MOS series.
I didn't ignore your argument; I showed how it was flawed because it applies equally to any unit. My counterexample was inches; here's another: "My weighing scales measure in pounds".
However, let's ignore the examples, as I think they're not the crux of your argument at all; instead, it's that the use of "per" is the key point, because it implies plural by default. I don't agree with that, because I see no reason or precedent to suggest that "per" implies plurality, and certainly not to the extent that we can reasonably classify it as exempt from "unless that noun is always in a plural form".
Plural usage will be more common, of course, but that's because there's many more (infinitely more, in fact) examples of multiple things than singular things in the real world. (If you're into maths, singular examples occur almost nowhere!) Oli Filth(talk) 16:14, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Your perverse desire to enforce absolute homogeneity with this issue is preventing you from realizing the fact that logically, and -- more importantly -- colloquially, the plural is used in X per Y quantities...and therefore should be the format used for naming articles about X per Y units (refer to WP:IAR). I will happily repeat the solid argument here for you: "Let me give you an example of how this works: if I asked you what units the speedometers in cars in the UK use, what would you answer? You'd say "kilometers per hour", not "kilometer per hour". And if you asked me what unit they use in the USA, I'd say "miles per hour", nor "mile per hour". The fuel efficiency of vehicles is measured in "miles per gallon" (or "kilometeres per liter"). The plural is used, NOT the singular." We're not talking about any old noun here -- there's a big difference between "inch" and "miles per hour". As I've said about eighty billion times now, X per Y values (i.e. miles per hour) are DIFFERENT than simple X values (i.e. inches) -- therefore the naming conventions are different. Again: "If you have X per Y, it is assumed that you have more than one X per Y (hence you're using that as a basis of measurement) -- and, of course, more than one = plural." Google searches, and basic (if-you-have-a-pulse-and-could-not-star-in-a-remake-of-Deliverance) logic, bear out that X per Y units are overwhelmingly put in the plural form -- in everything from everyday laymans' work, to respected scientific publications, to pretty much everything else. Not much else can be said; you're simply incorrect here. Thanks for RfC'ing though, it's good to discuss these things and ask for explanations when you're not sure. Mr. P. S. Phillips (talk) 17:24, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Not sure what your point is here. You've basically repeated your previous post verbatim, which doesn't lend it any more weight. And then you've echoed what I've already said I'm sure is the case, that in general the plural is more common (although interestingly, the crude Google searches I pointed out earlier disagree on this particular example). Oli Filth(talk) 19:04, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
It's very simple: the form of the question governs the form of the answer. If you ask "What units does your speedometer use?" or "What units does your bathroom scale use?", then appropriate answers are "miles per hour" and "pounds." If, on the other hand, you start the question with "What unit," then the answer is naturally singular, for instance "the mile per hour" or "the pound." --Reuben (talk) 06:19, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Despite Mr. Phillips's rather emphatic comments, units such as "kilometers per hour" are no different from simpler cases like "kilometers." It is perfectly appropriate for them to follow the same style. You can verify this in lists of units from authoritative sources like NIST [2], where they're all in the singular. There's no problem with this at all. --Reuben (talk) 06:13, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Things are pretty obvious:
  1. The title of the article should be the name of that unit.
  2. The name of the unit is what you say when you measure one unit of that quantity.
Hence, the title should be the singular "Kilometer per hour". It is, indeed, mostly used in the plural, but then again all units are mostly used in the plural. The word per has no special relevance; it just shows that the composed unit (kilometer per hour) is understood as the distribution of one simple type of units (kilometers) over another simple type of units (hours). In fact, many derived units are defined as the ratio of some other units --- the newton, the watt, the ohm, etc. --- such that their underlying meaning is in the form "something per something", and yet their names are in the singular.
There is no reason why the plural should be preferred in the case of km/h that could not equally apply in the case of simple units such as the meter. — AdiJapan  07:43, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Why this is a particularly awkward question

The issue here is that very rarely do people talk about compound units in isolation. Unlike the metre or the second, the only time you ever see these units being discussed is in reference to an actual measurement. Since there is uniquely one measurement that is singular and an uncountably infinite number of measurements that are not, it is extremely rare for one to see the singular measurement in common use.

However, here at Wikipedia we are charged with writing some rather bizarre articles, including articles about subjects that usually people do not consider "subjects" in the proper sense. I know of no other encyclopedia that has tried to write an article on the common units used for measuring speed on a speedometer, for example. Here we are, however, at the largest encyclopedia in the world and for whatever reason articles on such subjects are deemed necessary for inclusion.

We are basically breaking new ground here so we need to be very careful with how we look at precedent. The question is, what is the subject of the article? Is it "what units are most often seen?" or is it "what is the name of the unit?" If the question we are trying to answer with our articles is the former, then the plural unit should be used. If the question is the latter than the singular unit should be used.

I am of the opinion that the latter is the question with which Wikipedia is most concerned. I give as example other compound units that may or may not see articles in the future. Let's take the compound unit of measurement of momentum. If we were going to write an article about this unit would we write about the kilogram meter per second or kilogram meters per second. Oddly enough, adding that extra unit multiplier seems to muddy the issue (as well, this unit isn't often seen). People may still argue over what "sounds" more appropriate, but here's the clincher: the Newton second is another name for this unit. Now would we prefer to call this Newton seconds or, worse, Newtons second (as in attorneys general)? Of course not. The singular unit in this case makes the most sense, probably because the lack of the mathematical operation of division makes us "feel" like this is closer to the metre, kilogram, or pound article titles.

Since the compound units that multiply base units would have singular titles, it seems logical that compound units that divide base units would also use singular titles.

I recognize that this is a rather hard pill to swallow. Who has ever heard of the "mile per hour"? Well, as I stated in the beginning of this post, Wikipedia is in a bizarre situation of having to write articles about subjects that haven't been handled in a consistent way up until this point. I think, however, that carefully considering the logic of the situation will convince some to come over to the dark-side, as it were, and accept the singular form for these units.

ScienceApologist (talk) 08:33, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

OK, so in that case we henceforth say the speed of sound is 344 "metre per second" or "1230 kilometre per hour", or "770 mile per hour" , or "1130 foot per second". The question is not nearly as awkward as the suggestion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:21, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
No, you've entirely missed the point of what myself and 3 other editors have said. In summary: Each of the articles is about the corresponding unit (singular), and so the corresponding titles should each be in singular form (just like any other article on WP). This doesn't impinge in any way on the usage of said unit in a plural sense in the way that you seem to have suggested it would above. Yet again, the same argument applies to apples or metres ("1000 metre in a kilometre"!). Oli Filth(talk) 22:25, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Most people that I have heard here in Britain say "miles per hour" in the plural. The singular sounds unnatural. I suppose it depends on whether the unit per time unit is more often met asd a value over two or as a fraction less than one. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 09:17, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

The article name is not supposed to reflect the form most frequently found in use, but the name of the topic. For example, there is no object 1 light-year away from the Earth and there are very few objects known to be about 1 light-year in size, so almost without exception we find this unit in the plural form "X light-years". And yet, the name of this unit is light-year, in the singular.
In fact, article names in the plural are justified only when the concept described has full meaning as a group of objects, but not as individual objects. Take for example: Italians, Mayan languages, Maxwell's equations, Objectivist poets and so on. Measurement units are certainly not among these. — AdiJapan  11:22, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
The article name is not supposed to reflect the form most frequently found in use, but the name of the topic. See WP:COMMON WP:COMMONNAMES. If the name being proposed is rarely if ever used in natural language, it should not be used as the title of the article. olderwiser 16:59, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
This has already been discussed (way up, though). From WP:Naming conventions: "In general only create page titles that are in the singular, unless that noun is always in a plural form in English" (emphasis not mine). "Kilometres per hour" vs. "kilometre per hour" is no less rare (as a proportion) than, say, "kilometres" vs. "kilometre". Any time we want to talk about one of something, we need the singular. And as pointed out by another editor, even NIST lists them in the singular. Oli Filth(talk) 17:54, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
So you're suggesting that one specific provision of the naming conventions guideline overrides another. I don't agree that that make much sense when it results in article titles that are rarely if ever used in natural language. olderwiser 18:02, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Which specific guideline are you suggesting it overrides? The generic WP:COMMON "Use common sense"? (Which, to be an anal Wikilawyer for a second, is neither a policy nor a guideline.) Yes, a specific policy overrides a general-purpose ethos, unless there's a good reason not to (see WP:IAR?#What "Ignore all rules" does not mean.
As I've said several times, "kilometres per hour" (for example's sake) is proportionally no less common than "kilometres". Why does this idea of "we should use plural" magically apply here, but not there? In other words, why is this a special case versus any other unit of measure, or any other noun? Unless this can be answered, I see no "common sense" rationale that could potentially take precedence in this sort of case. Oli Filth(talk) 18:28, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, that should have been WP:COMMONNAMES. To address your second point, "kilometre" (or "kilometer") is a commonly used word and is not in any way unfamiliar to a fluent speaker of English. On the other hand, "kilometer per hour" would be regarded an extremely odd construct to most speakers. olderwiser 20:23, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm sure most English speakers would be comfortable with "an ant moves at one kilometre per hour" (or similar). Oli Filth(talk) 14:49, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Restating the question: RfC: Should titles of article on units of the form "X per Y" be singular or plural? I see that NIST Guide to SI Units uses the singular when speaking of to the units themselves (e.g., mile per ..., liter per ..., meter per ..., etc.), and optionally pluralizes the unit name according to gramattical conventions when applying the unit — e.g., (paraphrased from tabular information) "To convert from mile per gallon (U.S.) (mpg) (mi/gal) to liter per 100 kilometer (L/100 km), divide 235.215 by number of miles per gallon").
In keeping with this, IMHO, the titles of articles on the subject of the units themselves should use the singular. Also IMHO, it would be a good idea for such articles be wikilinked to the pluralized form of their name.
IMHO, it would be irritatingly pedantic include in each unit-of-measure article an explanatory statement along the lines of (e.g.) The Mile per hour is a unit of speed, expressing the number of international miles covered per hour. When referring to the unit itself, its name is generally expressed in the singular. When using the unit to express a quantity, the name of a unit is commonly pluralized according to grammatical conventions (e.g., "A 55 mile per hour speed limit restricts speed to a maximum of 55 miles per hour." (using the singular when speaking of 55 of the mile per hour units, and pluralizing the unit mile when speaking of traveling 55 of those units over the timespan of a (singular) hour. Another example might be, "One mile per hour and one-half mile per hour are both slower than two miles per hour.". A statement along these lines should, however, probably appear somewhere in the MOS (perhaps Wikipedia:Manual of Style (units of measure)).
Also see, for example, 55-Mile-per-Hour Speed Limit Statement Urging Compliance With the Limit., which speaks of (1) "... the national 55-mile per-hour speed limit ...", and of (2) "... better gas mileage at 55 miles per hour than at 70 ...". -- Boracay Bill (talk) 00:38, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with you and the others saying that there is no difference between having an article at "mile" or at "mile per hour" when it comes to any logical distinction. We still use the singular form for numbers greater than zero and less than or equal to one, 1 mile per hour just like 1 mile.
There is one difference for Wikipedia purposes. If you want to link the plural form of miles, you can use [[mile]]s to accomplish that. However, you cannot create a link to the proper plural form by using [[mile per hours]]s. The pluralizing "s" goes in the middle of what is being used for the article name.
However, that problem is solved quite nicely by the redirects, which should always exist in these cases and probably already do for all of them. Using [[miles per hour]] will link you to the proper article, even when the article is at "Mile per hour". So there is no reason not to just use the normal naming conventions, the singular form of the names of these units. Gene Nygaard (talk) 19:30, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
This is the wrong question

All the articles are talking about the same thing - measurement of velocity. We shouldn't have separate articles on them. Where would it end? Inches by day? Lightyears by millennium? Snail's pace. All these "articles" should be redirected to Speed where the measurements can be discussed in context and compared with each other without forking and duplication. Build the one brilliant article rather than a series of isolated and trivial stubs. SilkTork *What's YOUR point? 19:50, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

We don't just put all the weight units as redirects to Mass. Why should speed be any different. In any case, it isn't just "speed"; there are many such units of density, various kinds of flow rates, etc. Gene Nygaard (talk) 20:29, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Please don't forget nanoparsec per microfortnight. --Reuben (talk) 17:24, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
And if it was too much to merge it, a general article like units of velocity, units of pressure etc should be enough. Not sure that it will resolve every case though. Richard001 (talk) 05:13, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

I looked at the "Miles per hour" discussion page in a moment of frivolous curiosity and never did I imagine I would find a link to this lengthy discussion here. I am very used to Wikipedia's "use the singular in an article title" policy, and I still instinctively typed in "miles per hour" to find the page. I have to say that it would have seemed bizarre to be redirected to a page entitled "Mile per hour" - I would have done a double-take and wondered "Why is it called that?" I have to agree that in the particular case of a rate the article title should be in the plural, because that is the overwhelming (if not quite the only) usage of the term. In fact, seeing an article entitled "Mile per hour" might have made me wonder whether it were an article solely about the speed "1 m.p.h." until I had read the definition, because that is the singular's only usage.GSTQ (talk) 04:17, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

By the way, I think there is a fair case for a separate article for "miles per hour", although I don't think it would be a bad idea to merge the articles into a "units of velocity" article either. Just because there are many units of speed not deserving of their own article doesn't address the issue for significant units.GSTQ (talk) 05:58, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

In reply to your deleted post: Indeed, we don't seem to have reached a consensus. As far as I can see, there are those editors who would like to name the article using the most frequent grammatical form, and those who prefer the actual name of the unit. I believe that the frequency can be considered only in cases where you compare different names for the same concept, such as Canis lupus familiaris and Dog, when the readers are more familiar with one than with the other. Frequency is thus relevant in terms of familiarity or recognizability. But in the case of the "mile per hour" unit, recognizability is not an issue. In fact, as others pointed out, the singular is used in the NIST Guide to SI units. I would also add that the SI official brochure (see page 117, for example) makes the same clear distinction between the use of units with numbers, and the proper unit name. There is a difference between expressing quantities and naming a unit.
And sure thing, if you were to choose one of the wording variants below, as an introduction,
  • "The miles per hour are units of speed."
  • "The mile per hour is a unit of speed."
you'd obviously choose the second. Besides, since we're talking about a unit --- that is, one of something, an elementary part --- it would be quite hard to talk about a unit called miles per hour. — AdiJapan  07:29, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
I just noticed this discussion. There seem to be people in this conversation who believe that articles on units with "per" in their name should have the articles named as plural, but not otherwise. This seems bizarre if you follow the progression:
The last two are the same thing, but people seem to want to nme one plural and the other singular. They should all be named in the singular form. --Scott Davis Talk 22:05, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

It may seem bizarre, but that doesn't change what seems natural to English-speakers. The difference between "miles per hour" and "knot" is that the first has "per" in its name. It is explicitly a ratio. "Knot" is not obviously a ratio, therefore it does not seem counter-intuitive to use it in the singular. And for the time being, it appears likely that things will stay that way. It might be frustrating for logicians, but that doesn't mean we should ignore linguistic norms.GSTQ (talk) 01:01, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

As for the introduction:

  • "Miles per hour is a measurement of speed."

seems perfectly natural to me although there could be a better. Deliberately ridiculous constructions don't prove anything.GSTQ (talk) 01:04, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

What's deliberately ridiculous? I'm a native English speaker, and "The mile per hour is a unit of speed" sounds entirely natural to me. Your suggestion, though, immediately strikes me as incorrect because it doesn't respect subject-verb agreement. So far, I haven't seen any evidence presented to show that units that are expressed as ratios are used any differently from other units, just repeated assertions. --Reuben (talk) 02:35, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

The deliberately ridiculous construction (O.K., I used the wrong grammatical number. How ironic.) I was referring to was "The miles per hour..." As for whether the subject in my example disagrees with the number of the verb, I don't think it's as simple as "miles" equals "are". You can say "Werewolves of London is a song". And I know this is not quite the same as that, but it shows that a concept which looks like a plural can be treated as a singular noun in English. You could avoid the issue by saying something like: "The ratio miles per hour is used to measure speed...", which is actually a long version of my example "Miles per hour is a..." As for evidence, this is a stylistic argument, not an article. Evidence helps no doubt, but in the end it's a judgement call based on what looks or sounds best in the context. I'm not sure what evidence you had in mind to satisfy yourself. A poll? An excerpt from a thesis on the use of grammatical number in expressing ratios? I'm not sure there is any evidence out there we can rely on other than our own grammatical intuition. As for the title of the article, it's looking like a better idea all the time to remove the individual articles and replace them with a section in the "Speed" article, as suggested above.GSTQ (talk) 04:11, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

The evidence is from the NIST web site and other documents that discuss units themselves, which put them all uniformly in the singular. --Reuben (talk) 05:16, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, the evidence you've cited does put them all uniformly in the singular. As does this website:[3], except when it uses these "units" in an actual sentence, it describes them in the plural: "Common Speed Conversions A few of the more common speed and velocity units. Such as miles/hour (mph), kilometers/hour (kph), meters/second, etc." The N.I.S.T. evidence is evidence, but I don't believe it is the sort of evidence that is determinative of a style dispute.GSTQ (talk) 05:27, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

The web site you mentioned also says "A few of the more common length and distance units. Such as feet, meters, inches, centimeters, miles, kilometers, etc." In other words, it treats miles per hour no differently from any other units, which is exactly my point. Questions of style can point to actual usage, and I still haven't seen any evidence that usage of "miles per hour" is any different from usage of "miles." There is evidence against such a distinction, and in fact your link doesn't support any distinction. --Reuben (talk) 09:31, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Specific different target for Pounds per square inch

The pounds per square inch article is one of those included in the WP:RM proposal, with a notice on its talk page. But if you look at Talk:Pounds per square inch this article has already been improperly moved in a cut and paste move from Pound-force per square inch. That is the singular form to which that specific article should now be moved, not pound per square inch. With the normal cleanup merging the histories from the previous improper cut and paste move.

Note that there are two different units. This article is about lbf/in² (also called psi), where the pounds are units of force. But the unit lb/in² where pounds are the normal mass units are also used. Not as often as the pressure or stress units of lbf/in² are, but they are still different units and need to be disambiguated. Those lb/in², distinct and different "pounds per square inch" which are not and should not be covered in this pressure unit article, are used, for example, in ballistic coefficient. Gene Nygaard (talk) 10:04, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Just butting in here to comment that the NIST Guide to SI Units has this as "pound-force per square inch". -- Boracay Bill (talk) 10:18, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Is there a way to move it back to its proper location and merge the two histories? If not I would suggest simply doing a new copy-paste move with a note in the talkpage where to look for the new information. I still don't see how people get this wrong, there's a damn button that says move at the top of every article.--Oni Ookami AlfadorTalk|@ 17:12, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Update the guideline

Since the letter of the policy seems to be the thorn that keeps the mile-per-hour folks from sleeping at night, why not re-word the policy to something more reasonable? Just add the word "almost" in front of "always". After all, "always" is a big conditional; where did consensus for that come from? Ham Pastrami (talk) 04:29, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Does Wikipedia have a policy on what should be done with a stadium, sports league or team which sells/leases its naming rights to a corporate entity? I believe that Wikipedia should use the "regular name" (if the entity actually has one) and sponsored names should be redirects - as this way, should the naming rights pass on to another company, we do not have to change hundreds of links. Where would be the best place to discuss this? -- Chuq (talk) 07:03, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Futurology or Futures studies?

There's an argument at talk:Futurology over what that article should be called, and whether this policy applies. Your opinion there would be appreciated. The Transhumanist 03:41, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Use technical names set by standards organizations

I'd like to propose that names set by standards organizations, such as NIST, be used as article titles, rather than officially discarded names, regardless of their common use. In particular, the names electric constant and magnetic constant have been adopted by standards organizations world-wide as replacements for a multitude of common terms, including vacuum permeability and vacuum permittivity (which are the presently used titles in Wikipedia).

The adoption of these names by the standards organizations reflect that these terms are defined quantities, rather than experimentally measured ones, and the names are chosen to avoid the implication of a materials property that could be measured.

Whatever the reasoning of the standards organizations, I'd suggest that the deliberations of standards organizations are likely to be more subtle and nuanced than any arguments that could be offered by Wikipedians. By not adopting these names selected by these standards organizations Wiki simply exhibits a combination of hubris and fuddy-duddyness.

Any worry that a reader of Wiki would become lost or confused by articles unfamiliarly named is allayed by automatic redirection from the familiar to the standards term. The lead-in first line of the article can read, for example: Electric constant, variously known as vacuum permittivity, permittivity of free space and permittivity of empty space, means....

In my view, a reader so redirected will immediately pick out the name they know, and be reassured that it is the term they have in mind. They also will notice that the article has a different title, with the implication that the title is a preferred designation. Thus, ease of use by the reader and education of the reader are beautifully combined, and the reader is left recognizing that Wikipedia is indeed on top of things.

To repeat: I'd like to propose that names set by standards organizations, such as NIST, be used as article titles, rather than officially discarded names.

Brews ohare (talk) 19:15, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Oppose. If the "technical names set by standards organizations" are not actually used, then it shouldn't be used. (Also, electric constant is not exactly a defined term; it is measured. The measurement defines the Ampere, but accurate measurements of the "constant" are still required.) — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 19:44, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Arthur: You are mistaken on this one. See NIST where you will find the "uncertainty" in electric constant is zero because it is defined, not measured. As for "not used" of course that is not the case, although it is not the most commonly used term. The issue is not really just a popularity contest. Is it not a service to the reader to emphasize the correct term? Is it not a reflection on Wikipedia to stay in the middle ages? Brews ohare (talk) 20:34, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Arthur: it depends on what name is used. If the standards body has succeeded in changing usage, we should follow. If they haven't, it's not our job to help. So let's consider these on a case by case basis. I haven't look at the case at hand. Dicklyon (talk) 01:30, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

What constitutes success? Biggest google count? Endorsement by the standards body? Endorsement by eminent scientists? Citation in preeminent texts and reference works? Good sense? Best three of five?

What is the basis for delay in following the committee? Fear that the term never will be adopted? Fear of being too far out front? Fear of annoying readership?

Is there reasoning involved here?

Brews ohare (talk) 02:03, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Please take a look at, which states:
If the common name conflicts with the official name, use the common name except for conflicting scientific names
A number of objective criteria can be used to determine common or official usage:
* Is the name in common usage in English? (check Google, other reference works, websites of media, government and international organizations)
* Is it the official current name of the subject? (check if the name is used in a legal context, e.g. a constitution)
The fact that the posted value for ε0 at NIST is under electric constant and that metrology and standards organizations in the UK. France and British commonwealth countries all link back to this NIST site for the value indicates official use. It is a bit silly to use Google hits to establish technical vocabulary instead of using international expert opinion. After all, electric constant is a scientific technical term, not a term of everyday English.

A user of Wikipedia that ends up looking for vacuum permittivity at NIST will be redirected to electric constant. That will occasion the thought that Wikipedia is a bit out of it. If they inquire why, they will find that the failure of Wikipedia to be current stems from (i) failure to identify scientific terms, (ii) failure to recognize international expert bodies and (iii) reliance on a Google hit mentality, regardless of appropriateness. Brews ohare (talk) 15:55, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

I'd like to add to the above Wikipedia quotations:
Scientific nomenclature. Check usage by international bodies like CIPM, IUPAP, IUPAC, and other scientific bodies concerned with nomenclature; consider also the national standards agencies NIST and NPL. Consult style guides of scientific journals.
Notice NIST in there??

Brews ohare (talk) 19:01, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

(please don't put your signature on a new line. It makes it difficult to see who wrote what. This isn't a policy or guideline, just a personal observation. The guideline is that you should indent your signature to the same level as the text.)
We all know that the product of the electric constant and the magnetic constant is 4 π c2. Hence, their being "constant" is a function of special relativity, and should not be presumed. All serious researchers accept special relativity, but we wouldn't want physical definitions to make it impossible to think of violations. (Or perhaps the meter is now defined in terms of the second so that the speed of light is "constant". Never mind.)
It further follows that your statement that they are "constant" (rather than defining Ampere) needs a source, as it's clearly not true.
Nonetheless, our standard should not be what the standards committees accept, but what is actually used by the scientists. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 21:21, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Hi Arthur: As a source, how about NIST? є0 provides є0 exactly μ0 provides μ0 exactly and c provides c exactly. In short, all three are defined quantities, so your speculation about the meter is right on the money. All three parameters є0, μ0 and c are now only numbers and completely separate from any conceivable experimental alteration. See also Physical_constant#Table_of_universal_constants.
To return to our standard, the standards associations are talking here about technical terms, not standard English, and so technical considerations went into their choices. Moreover, these associations do not operate in isolation: they are populated by and talk with scientists about these matters, so the results are the deliberated decisions of the technical community. The adoption of new terminology is not an overnight thing, there are always those out of the swim, but there is no doubt about the ultimate wide adoption of this terminology. In the meantime, the web sites of all international metrology organizations link to NIST for these values. For Wikipedia to opt out of this arrangement is just unfathomable. It brands the encyclopedia as second rate, behind the times and unable to understand the situation in which it is found. Brews ohare (talk) 00:16, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
We should not "opt out." We should link to NIST for the value like everyone else, and we should say what they call it. But that's really an independent question from whether we should move the article at this point from the traditional name to the new standard name. The case you need to make is that the new standard name is the one most commonly used, known, or searched for; then maybe we'll be convinced; the arguments you've made so far don't do that, and that's what we responded to. Dicklyon (talk) 03:06, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
According to google book search, books published in the 21st century use "vacuum permittivity" overwhelmingly more than "electric constant". So it seems that the new term has not really caught on much. As I said, our job is to follow, not to lead, on such things. Dicklyon (talk) 03:10, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
I got the "follow, not lead" message. I didn't get why to follow Google instead of the international standards organizations (or, I presume any other group of savants, however distinguished, e.g. the Royal Society or the IEEE). I understand the Google thing if you are documenting the thoughts of the popular mind, and the goal strictly is to document the popular mind, that your version of heliocentric theory and evolution would differ from scientific use, but I thought the charge was a little different. I haven't heard any argument supporting the Google or popular mind view except "that's how we do it". What about value, what about fact, what about solid presentation, eh? What about the Wiki policy quotes about scientific terms? How about some rationale? Brews ohare (talk) 05:24, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
Google has no usage or opinion to follow; it's just one way to survey what's out there. I find google book search to provide a pretty decent sample of reliable sources (as opposed to web search, which finds way too much other junk). But other ways of assessing what's out there are also valid. International standards organizations, on the other hand, provide only their own narrow view, not a sampling of actual usage. Dicklyon (talk) 01:57, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
Whatever the answer is to the question of how technical terms fit into the "actual usage" criterion, how does this sound as a compromise approach: let us suppose the commonly used term is abc and the technical standards organizations world-wide use the term cde. Could the article lead not read:
ABC, termed CDE by international standards organizations, is defined as...
How does that sound? Brews ohare (talk) 18:46, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
Reasonable for this case, but even that isn't appropriate for Kibibyte, etc., as different standards organizations have different standards. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 19:42, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
To follow up on this example, the lead there states:
A kibibyte (a contraction of kilo binary byte) is a unit of information or computer storage, established by the International Electrotechnical Commission in 2000.
Correspondingly, let us suppose the commonly used term is abc and NIST and International Bureau of Weights and Measures uses the term cde. Could the article lead not read:
ABC, termed CDE by NIST and BIPM, is defined as...
How does that sound? Of course, in some cases the term may be defined by only a narrow technical body, so maybe an issue arises as to where the line is drawn. The cases of electric constant and magnetic constant are not like that. Brews ohare (talk) 20:24, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

English (common?) name v. official foreign name

I've requested a page move of Associação Académica de Coimbra to the English "common" translation Coimbra Academic Association in line with e.g. National Alliance of Student Organizations in Romania and Uppsala Student Union, adding a series of sub-page moves to reflect the move of the principal article (such as Associação Académica de Coimbra - Secção de VoleibolCoimbra Academic Association - volleyball section.

The responses I've got (from Portuguese editors) has been that e.g. Associação Académica de Coimbra - Secção de Voleibol is the official and "correct" name. Now, the problem is that I'm not sure if the AAC student union has an English common name. Coimbra Academic Association get 12700 english hits and "Coimbra Academic Association" get only 240 english hits on Google , while "Associação Académica de Coimbra" get 540 english hits (even though one might suspect that a large portion of these are about the football club). Does this mean that the AAC doesn't have an English common name or that the common name should be interpreted as "What word would the average user of the Wikipedia put into the search engine?" (from WP:COMMON). Don't forget to also comment on the move page! Sebisthlm (talk) 14:20, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Kosovo, the newborn state

Names according to the official languages and order

I have one or two suggestions to make, regarding the names related to the Republic of Kosovo, which recently declared independence from Serbia.

First of all, it has been agreed that the two official languages are Albanian and Serbian. You could verify this. You could also verify that Albanians make up the majority of the population (some 92 or 93%). Therefore, it has been agreed that Albanian language be the primary language. For this reason, all names related to Kosovo should be reflected in the Albanian language, and optionally followed by the Serbian language. While I am aware that the English-speaking world may be most acquainted with the non-diacritic Serbian version of the names, Wikipedia should respect both official languages in the order: Albanian/Serbian.

Respecting the aforementioned suggestion has several advantages. First, it will characterize the (English) Wikipedia as a neutral system. That is, neither Albanians, nor Serbians would cause confusion and trouble by editing articles according to subjective points of view. In the end, everybody will be satisfied because that is the reality. Second, it will allow us, the users, to focus more on developing articles, rather than spending a lot of time discussing whether the nomenclature should be in Serbian or in Albanian and in what order. For instance, if you compare the "Article Page" of a particular Kosovo-related article with the respective "Discussion Page", then you will immediately notice that the latter is much longer than the former, which shows that users spend much more time talking than actually being interested in results.

All in all, using the two official languages, Albanian and Serbian, and in the official order: Albanian names followed by Serbian names, would bring neutrality to Kosovo-related articles along with several advantages.--Arbër 09:54, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Names of the URL's are ONLY in Serbian language - this is wrong

In addition to the suggestion I made above, I have another important suggestion related to the URL's of Wikipedia. Let's take an example of a Kosovo-related page, which has the following URL: As you may notice, the name "Peć", which appears as "Pe%C4%87" in the URL, is the Serbian name for the Kosovan city of "Pejë", the Albanian name. At this point, Wikipedia is not respecting Albanian as the primary and official language, given that Serbian is the second official language of the Republic of Kosovo. I believe a drastic change has to be made to all Wikipedia URL's which use a Serbian nomenclature instead of an Albanian one. Because Albanian is the primary language of Kosovo, all Wikipedia URL's should be in the Albanian language.--Arbër 09:54, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Please refer to WP:NCON. Basic rule is still: WP:USEENGLISH. Where there is a clearly dominant usage in the English language, that takes precedence. Only if that fails does the question of native and official names kick in. If and when English usage outside Wikipedia is going to change because of the independence, then Wikipedia will follow suit, but not earlier. For instance, all the media still talk about Kosovo, not Kosova. They might change that at some later point, but we won't take a step ahead of them in anticipation. Fut.Perf. 10:48, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
From your answer, I understand that Wikipedia is prepared for such changes :) - that's quite important to learn.--Arbër (Let's Talk) 11:23, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Value judgments are preferred in article names?

I find the outcome of this AfD to be counter to everything suggested in WP:NPOV. It basically states that having words like "important" in the title of an article is not only acceptable, but preferred. IMO there should be an explicit naming policy against this. The relevance of "importance" is already covered against WP:N. The article should have been given either a keep or delete, the rename was a really lame copout in contradiction of fundamental policies. And it's being used as precedent. See the justification for the renaming of List of publications in computer science. Ham Pastrami (talk) 10:24, 22 February 2008 (UTC)


Is the title of the article compliant with the naming conventions? I don't think so, but can't move the article. --Blueredsky (talk) 14:59, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

For what it's worth, the theatre's own website uses the English name National Theatre of Iceland rather than "Thodleikhusid" — and, for the record, a ð in Icelandic is a lowercase thorn, not a d. I suspect, consequently, that the article should most appropriately be at National Theatre of Iceland. Bearcat (talk) 02:45, 27 February 2008 (UTC)


Is IAST spelling allowed as an article name or is the English spelling prefered? --Redtigerxyz (talk) 14:22, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Inasmuch as this is the English Wikipedia, English is preferred; the IAST spelling should be given parenthetically in the first introductory paragraph. Askari Mark (Talk) 03:46, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Band name

This manual of style has been misused to move Bone Thugs-N-Harmony to Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. It may be also interpreted as suggesting to rename Guns N' Roses to Guns and Roses and Tha Dogg Pound to The Dog Pound. Please consider adding a special note to the article to make it clear that this manual does not suggest changing excplicit (mis-)spelling in band and album names to fit English grammar. Netrat_msk (talk) 11:06, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

There's no meaningful difference to be had between a capital N or a lowercase n in Bone Thugs-n-Harmony; it's purely a difference in how familiar an individual writer is with standard English capitalization rules. You're making a false comparison here to two moves that virtually nobody would ever even try to implement, and that wouldn't last three seconds even if somebody did. Bearcat (talk) 02:41, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Naming Convention Not Clear

The idea to maximise hits (on search engines) should be a part of the "first article" page. It may not refer to a lot of first articles any more but it would clear up a lot of thinking for newer users.
ThisMunkey (talk) 21:54, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Military operational names


At WP:Military history we've run into a snag that we were hoping could be resolved here. It revolves around operational names and how we should present them as the pagename of the article. We basically have four alternatives:

Original name Transliteration Partial translation Full translation Notes
Fall Weiß Fall Weiss Case Weiss Case White
Unternehmen Frühlingserwachen Unternehmen Fruhlingserwachen Operation Fruhlingserwachen Operation Spring Awakening
Операция Искра Operatsia Iskra Operation Iskra Operation Spark
捷号作戦 Sho-gō sakusen Operation Sho-Go Operation Victory
ケ号作戦 Ke-gō sakusen Operation Ke-Go Operation Ke Uses a simple katakana letter, so no meaning to translate.
Unternehmen Barbarossa Operation Barbarossa Being named after a proper noun (Frederick Barbarossa)
this wouldn't be translated


Right now we're all over the map so we really need some standardization. Since we can't come to agreement amongst ourselves, it has been requested that we leave the decision primarily to here. Thoughts? Oberiko (talk) 16:32, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Wow! Quite a "snag". I read as far as the first break and didn't have the energy to continue. My choice is a full translation unless it is well-known as a partial translation (e.g. Operation Barbarossa). I assume that there would be redirects from other names and that the article would mention other names. Sbowers3 (talk) 21:30, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
I vote for the "partial" translation, though I think we will need redirects from the transliterated version. As this is the English Wikipedia I am opposed to articles in non-Latin alphabets anyway. A bit of checking seems to show that the partial version is more common; however there is sure to be some hardhead searching under the transliteration. Mangoe (talk) 03:17, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
English Wikipedia, so use as full a translation as possible for the article title. Other names can be listed in the article. If the translation is wrong, someone will fix it. If you can't get it translated then start with what you've got. -- SEWilco (talk) 05:32, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
You may want to read Talk:Iaşi-Chişinău Offensive before making any suggestions.--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 09:01, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
I would have suggested the partial translation, for instance keep 'Operation' in English (or whatever the corresponding first word is, battle or, or whatever) but have the actual name in the original language, often they are named for places or so on that have the biggest impact in the original language. SGGH speak! 11:55, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Having looked at the case mentioned, there's a strong note of Romanian partisans trying to own an article about a Russian offensive. If it has to be in the original language, that original language is Russian in this case, since it was after all their offensive; the Romanian should be dismissed out of hand. However, the other problem is that the transliteration from Russian into Latin characters is a little uncertain. The whole Yassy/Jassy ambiguity arises because of a longstanding Latinism that is wont to use an initial "J" to represent a "Y" consonant sound. I personally think this is an archaism and that we should stick to the phonetically obvious "Yassy", redirecting from "Jassy". As for Iassy", that's for the Italian Wikipedia. Mangoe (talk) 14:08, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Not quite enough input here to call it one way or another, anyone object if I take it to the Village Pump instead? Oberiko (talk) 14:38, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

(Coming from the Village Pump) If you can find a standard English-language reference to the operation, I would go for that. For non-Roman alphabets, my inclination would go for the full translation. For the Roman alphabet, it's more tricky... Bluap (talk) 04:10, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

I've moved the full thread to VP. Please respond here. Oberiko (talk) 11:15, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Is there a convention on trademarked product names?

For example, Frisbee redirect to Flying disc, the former being the common but trademarked name; but Moka pot redirects to Moka Express, where the latter is trademarked and arguably more common. Seems that the non-trademarked name should be used when there is one but I couldn't find a rule for that.--Doug.(talk contribs) 03:01, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

The article isn't clear about where the word "Moka" comes from. Is it simply derived from the brand, as with "Xerox machine"? If so, it should be changed to a truly generic phrase like photocopier. If "Moka pot" is a term that existed prior to the "Moka Express", then yes, change it. Ham Pastrami (talk) 04:05, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
It isn't clear to me either, I haven't found anything to suggest that there was a coffee pot called a moka or a moka pot before the Moka Express - nor that there was a pot called something else and the term moka pot is not a term that Bialetti uses to describe their product. The only dictionary reference to the word I can find is in an online Italian dictionary, here. I can't read Italian, and it doesn't give an etymology, so I don't know that it would matter. After all, Frisbee is in Webster's, that doesn't stop it from being trademarked.--Doug.(talk contribs) 17:56, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Lists of Breeds

It has come up on several agriculture article talk pages from time to time, as well as at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject Agriculture, that the name "List of breeds of x" or "List of x breeds" (where "x" is a species of domestic animal) is cumbersome. A better naming convention would be "Breeds of x" or "X breeds". Any thoughts on this?--Doug.(talk contribs) 05:41, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

An example of the one that I'm aware of that has implemented this is Guinea_pig_breed which is written more like an article than a list (partly because there aren't that many breeds). This could be a model for the other species, though with only the lead for each breed.--Doug.(talk contribs) 01:52, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
There is further discussion on this topic at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Agriculture#Breed_lists and Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Agriculture#More_about_Breed_Lists.--Doug.(talk contribs) 02:00, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. One additional advantage of removing the word "list" from the title is being able to add additional content, particularly if the individual breed in question doesn't have much related content. John Carter (talk) 16:57, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
So, should the articles be named in the style Breeds of goats or Goat breeds.--Doug.(talk contribs) 17:39, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Policy "of" the United States or Policy "in" the United States

Question- I'm looking at all of the US policy articles (Fiscal policy in the United States, Energy policy in the United States, United States trade policy, Monetary policy of the United States), and I'm planning on making a template for them all and at least one more article I plan on making (Agricultural policy). What is the naming convention for these types of articles? Should I make them consistent or leave them as they are? johnpseudo 17:05, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Philippine radio stations naming

I removed the Phillipines section [4] because it appears to be an action from a WP:SOCK sockpupeteer to override this policy, including naming one of his socks as authority on the naming convention [5]. For more information, see Wikipedia:Suspected_sock_puppets/Pinoybandwagon --Enric Naval (talk) 14:02, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Which rules to use?

Which rules do we use for the name of an ethnic group , like that of Assyrian people? I found Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(geographic_names)#Widely_accepted_name helpful, but it says this method is used for geographical identification. Can we use those rules for the proper naming of an ethnic group? Chaldean (talk) 15:10, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Araw ng Kagitingan

How about the Araw ng Kagitingan article, in view of the WP:MOS#Foreign terms style guideline? -- Boracay Bill (talk) 07:23, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

It's sometimes called "Day of Valor" (see Public holidays in the Philippines). Officially, it's "Araw ng Kagitingan - (Bataaan and Corregidor Day)" (see this). For a partial list of english-language Philippine newspapers, see this. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 23:28, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Proposed naming convention for articles about individual mills

I've been advised to come here for advice. I'm trying to create a WikiProject for Mills, and want to establish a format for article names. With many mills sharing the same name, I'd prefer the style of the title to be [Mill Name, Location], thus Beacon Mill, Benenden and not St. Martin's Mill, which I originally named as St. Martin's Windmill, Canterbury. What do other editors think about this proposal? Mjroots (talk) 12:43, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Which one?

Which one of these pages is titled correctly (if either)? : List of minor Foundation universe characters and List of minor Foundation-universe planets? —ScouterSig 04:39, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I'd say the former. Plrk (talk) 17:35, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Building names

I'm trying to find a guideline on how to name buildings. Current usage (at least when it comes to cathedrals) is a bit confused:

Pax:Vobiscum (talk) 17:26, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

What we have (not really much) is at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (architecture).
Always possible to revive that page (replace {{historical}} on top of that page by {{proposal}} when you start).
That page is still linked from Wikipedia:Naming conventions#Proposed guidelines and guidelines under construction. --Francis Schonken (talk) 18:54, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Naming conventions

There are two different retail chains, both with the name Bealls. Their pages are currently at Bealls (Texas) and Bealls (Florida). Personally, I think they should be moved to something like Bealls (Texas-based retailer) and Bealls (Florida-based retailer), respectively, so as to conform with naming conventions. Am I crazy for proposing this, or should I just go ahead and rename? Ten Pound Hammer and his otters(Broken clamshellsOtter chirps) 21:47, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Why? If they are the only two meanings for "Bealls", then the placename is all that's needed to differentiate, surely? PamD (talk) 15:47, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject template naming

Most of the main WikiProject templates are named "Template:WikiProject Xxxxx". Some times I see "Template:WPXxxx". Which is the correct naming convention? Thanks. GregManninLB (talk) 16:00, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Either. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 14:34, 28 April 2008 (UTC)


I don't see that WP:NCI has ever established widespread consensus, and it is contrary to WP:COMMONNAME. (A much narrower page about transsexual identification, which seems to be the main intent of the page, would be far less objectionable.) I don't think, therefore, that this page should link to it. The best place for comment would seem to be its talk page. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:29, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Any objection to removing the style sidebar?

It might confuse people into thinking this page is a style's not, it's policy. I'll post this question on a few non-style-guideline pages, and if there's no objection, I'll remove it from all non-style-guideline pages. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 18:08, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Move Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to Mahatma Gandhi

According to WP:Naming Conventions, it would be best to move the article to Mahatma Gandhi, as this is the common name for the person in India and abroad. N0 one calls him Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. People call him Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi is appropriate because we use Bill Clinton to refer to William Jefferson Clinton and Le Corbusier to refer to Charles-Édouard Jeanneret. Nikkul (talk) 23:15, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Anti-[National Sentiment] Guidelines

I've been editing the anti-Americanism article. I've been looking at some other anti-national sentiment articles, that were mentioned in the (archived) Talk pages of the article. They all tend to push POV on political matters. The anti-Japanese article, for example, has a section on whaling protests, calling the opposition to whaling racism against Japanese [6]. Meanwhile, the anti-Americanism article cites a protest against a US military base, in the wake of Marines raping a child, as an example of anti-Americanism. (The article has a "Discrimination" sidebar that comes and goes, and includes anti-Americanism in the same category as racism, slavery, and genocide.) All of this is interpreting and labeling the views of other people and societies, often negatively, on political matters. Usually, an "anti-XYZ" term has a pejorative connotation, implying bias. However, people do sometimes self-identify as anti-American.

Wikipedia should not label people as anti-[national sentiment]. It should discuss the fact that people have opinions about anti-Americanism, and discuss people who self-identify as such. That can be neutral. Other labeling--anti-Mexican sentiment (the article suggests concern with illegal immigration is prejudice against Mexicans [7]....), anti-Japeanese sentiment, etc--is just POV pushing, usually with a negative innuendo, often about living people and cultures.

A related policy: Naming conventions (identity)

I propose anti-[nationality] labeling following the same guidlelines, pretty much for the same reasons. From that page:

Where there is doubt, aim for neutrality.

  • Some terms are considered pejorative, or have negative associations, even if they are quite commonly used. Even though people may use these terms themselves, they may not appreciate being referred to by such terms by others (for example, faggot, nigger, tranny). Note that neutral terminology is not necessarily the most common term — a term that the person or their cultural group does not accept for themselves is not neutral even if it remains the most widely used term among outsiders. Life.temp (talk) 23:53, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Use Engish words

Someone needs to check the examples rather more carefully a Google search on "Edvard Benes" (there is a bug in Google's search returns, one has to go to the last page returned to find the real numbers):

  • Web 368 of 368 English pages for "Edvard Beneš" -"Edvard Benes" -wikipedi
  • Web 571 of about 11,700 English pages for -"Edvard Beneš" "Edvard Benes" -wikipedia.
  • Books 351 - 360 of 602 on "Edvard Beneš" -Edvard-Benes.
  • Books 461 - 467 of 467 on -"Edvard Beneš" "Edvard Benes".
  • Scholar 321 - 321 of 321 for "Edvard Beneš" -"Edvard Benes" (a number (most?) of these are not in English)
  • Scholar 511 - 515 of 515 for -"Edvard Beneš" "Edvard Benes".

I have not checked the others names, but I think any page that is listed in Wikipedia:Naming conventions#Use English words should reflect English usage! --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 12:15, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

And PamD made a small change after your change, Philip. Guys, one of the things we're focused on currently at style guidelines and a few policy pages (this would be a likely one) is to get input from a lot of different people, in the hope that we can get some stability in style guidelines. So, thanks for the example, Philip. But this is a policy page. WP:BRD doesn't apply. The top infobox says, "Before editing this page, please make sure that your revision reflects consensus." Wasn't the point of those examples to show that we sometimes keep diacritical marks, even though that looks foreign to us? Have you guys seen a pattern that leads you to believe that there's a consensus now for stripping diacriticals? - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 03:08, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
It has nothing to do with accent marks and everything to do with using examples were there is a clear common usage. Most of the words with accent marks do not make good examples because often the usage is not clear cut. Using lots of examples with accent marks implies that is in the WP:UE guideline as somehow being more correct than not using accent marks. It is not. What the guideline says is use the most common English spelling. Names should only have accent marks if thy are more common than the word without in verifiable reliable sources. Equally names should only not use accent marks if they are more common than words with accent marks in verifiable reliable sources. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 22:58, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
For whatever reason (probably coding), English publications do not ordinarily use š. Based on a search, the English name usage are ranked as:
  1. Edvard Benes (1)
  2. Eduard Benes (2)
  3. Edouard Benes (3)
  4. Edward Benes (4)
  5. President Benesch (5)
  6. Edvard Beneš (6)
  7. Eduard Beneš (7)
GregManninLB (talk) 16:26, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, sorry, perhaps I should have joined in conversation here instead. I cured one aspect of the change which seemed unhelpful (Madrid as an example - as far as I know there's only one way to spell it), but didn't fix the other problem - omitting cases where we do use diacriticals in English. Google searches are likely to under-represent diacriticals: many writers on the web don't know/care how to find them. is a better guide to usage, at least in UK English. Málaga might be a good example. PamD (talk) 06:45, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
It is policy to use common Engish names if names are not usually spelt with accent marks then neither should Wikipedia given the constraint we use WP:V reliable sources and not just blog pages etc. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 22:58, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, I've added that to my list of style guidebooks. Good call on Madrid. I often rely on Google searches, but I agree with you, diacriticals are not going to be properly represented on Google searches. I'm not sure what the best examples would be, I'll go ask over at WT:FAC. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 14:40, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
École Polytechnique massacre and Søren Kierkegaard are both FAs, so presumably there's consensus for the diacriticals, I asked at WT:FAC. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 14:56, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
See below Søren Kierkegaard may be an FA but it is not clear what the name should be so it is best not to use it as a naming examle. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 22:58, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Even thoughMadrid is cited in WP:UE, I don't think it adds anything helpful to this page: there is no choice to be made. The original format, contrasting a series of examples using diacriticals with others using anglicised forms, was helpful. If we are going with the current model, I'd rather see Málaga as the "local form" example instead of Madrid, as it illustrates the fact that we use diacriticals in article names where this is standard English usage (not necessarily as shown on the web by Google). PamD (talk) 10:47, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Just to illustrate that Google doesn't reflect accepted English usage: there are 1.2 million hits for "Charlotte Bronte" but only 0.3 million for "Charlotte Brontë". Britannica and Oxford dictionary of world history etc all use "Beneš" but he is variously "Edvard" and "Eduard"; the British Library catalogue at goes for "Beneš, Edvard". PamD (talk) 18:23, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Okay, if I could ask a favor, could I take a week off from this? I'm still interested, but I'm snowed under with wiki-stuff. No one responded at WT:FAC regarding École Polytechnique massacre and Søren Kierkegaard, so either of those probably has consensus as a demonstration of diacriticals; I'll revert back to the long-standing example, but replacing Beneš with Søren Kierkegaard, because I don't get enough online hits in references such as dictionaries to make Beneš an easy call, and there are so many other easy calls. PBS hasn't made an argument in support of his removing diacriticals, that I have noticed ... have you, PBS? On another subject, notice that I had to strike out my "BRD doesn't apply" above, based on a current thread at WP:VPP, but the plain meaning of the infobox still holds. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 19:49, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

I did no pick the names at random (as seems to be the case with Dank55 choice. I picked words used as examples in the more detailed guideline WP:UE. I have now included some wording from that guideline to explain why those three words were chosen. As for the choice that Dank55 made. See Søren Kierkegaard

  • web 831 - 838 of about 136,000 English pages for Søren-Kierkegaard -Soren-Kierkegaard -wikipedia. (last page 84)
  • web 821 - 829 of about 234,000 English pages for -Søren-Kierkegaard Soren-Kierkegaard -wikipedia. (last page 83)
  • book 489 of 499 on Soren-Kierkegaard -Søren-Kierkegaard. (last page 49)
  • book 421 of 441 on Søren-Kierkegaard -Soren-Kierkegaard. (last page 43)
  • scholar 971 - 980 of about 2,310 for -Soren-Kierkegaard Søren-Kierkegaard (last page 98) but many of these are foreign language papers from page 83 onwards.
  • Scholar 981 - 990 of about 4,570 for Soren-Kierkegaard -Søren-Kierkegaard (last page 99) butmany of these are foreign language papers from page 86 onwards.

Google seems to have a bug it its counter that means it is best to go to the last page to see what the real number returned is -- or it is not a bug and they do not return all the pages that are in the search. In this case it is not at all clear what is the most common usage and as such it is not a good example to use. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 22:36, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

PamD you wrote above I'd rather see Málaga as the "local form" example instead of Madrid, as it illustrates the fact that we use diacriticals in article names where this is standard English usage (not necessarily as shown on the web by Google). How do you prove that Málaga and not Malaga "is standard English usage"?
  • scholar: about 19,500 for -Málaga Malaga Spain.
  • Scholar: about 14,400 for Málaga -Malaga Spain.
  • Books 1 - 10 of 2020 on -Málaga Malaga Spain
  • Books 1 - 10 of 1065 on Málaga -Malaga Spain
These numbers will shrink dramatically if one looks at the last page returned but it does suggest that Málaga is not a good example to use as there is probably no clear usage.. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 22:58, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
I chose it as an example because it's in the Guardian Style Guide and I take that as current English usage. My example on Charlotte Brontë above shows how unreliable Google is in showing whether diacriticals are standard English usage: even on Google Scholar there are three times as many without the diacritical, yet I believe that this reflects technical problems getting text onto the web rather than English usage! PamD (talk) 23:17, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Why do you believe Charlotte Brontë is common English usage and not just an affectation used by some people? Why put into the guidelines examples that are not clear cut? Why include examples like Málaga instead of Madrid? --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 11:33, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
WP:MOS#Foreign terms says, "Use anglicized spellings; native spellings are an optional alternative if they use the English alphabet. The choice between anglicized and native spellings should follow English usage (Besançon, Edvard Beneš and Göttingen, but Nuremburg, role, naive, and Florence). In particular, diacritics are optional, except where English overwhelmingly uses them, whether for disambiguation or for accurate pronunciation (résumé, café)." WP:UE#Modified letters says: "Wikipedia does not decide what characters are to be used in the name of an article's subject; English usage does." and "Beware of over-dramatising these issues: as an example Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Ireland-related articles) may be mentioned, which, as a side-effect, regulated use of diacritics regarding Ireland-related articles – peacefully – before, during and after an extensive dispute on the question of diacritics in 2005, e.g. Inishmore, not Inis Mór; Tomás Cardinal Ó Fiaich, not Tomas Cardinal O'Fiaich". Perhaps this is being over-analyzed here. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 01:54, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Replying to question re Charlotte Brontë: Britannica and Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for starters, as well as long-established WP article where no-one appears ever to have tried to move or challenged the name... you could always try, and I'll sit back and watch the fur fly! Do you have a WP:RS which uses "Bronte", other than web sites which are affected by technical problems? PamD (talk) 07:05, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Let me make myself clear. I am in favour of common English usage (in verifiable reliable sources), and if you read the recent debate in the section GoodDay or the Croatians on Talk WP:UE you will see that I specifically mention Ireland under the National varieties of English. I did not ask to move "Charlotte Brontë" what I asked "Why do you believe Charlotte Brontë is common English usage and not just an affectation used by some people?" All you have done is mention two books out of the total set of books that does not show that it is not an affectation used by some people. If on the other hand you had pointed to a Google Book search, then it would have been clear that it was more than an affectation used by some people.
But nice as it is to debate generalities with you, lets get back to the sentence in the guideline we are discussion. My point is that it is better to include examples where there is no debate over the common English usage rather than words like Málaga where it is not clear that that spelling is the most common English spelling. I hope that the additions to the sentence explaining the three options makes it clear and is acceptable to you. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 08:57, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
For my part, I have never seen a reasonably printed book use anything other than Charlotte Brontë, and I would be astounded to see one use anything else. It was indeed an affectation, but it was her father's affectation, and his children used it consistently. So do modern sources. 23:33, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
  • That PBS jibs at following the Oxford DNB does astound me. It is the standard work of reference on its field. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:37, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Septentrionalis one swallow do not a summer make. See my remark "Let me make..." above. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 05:50, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
(left) All the sources at Charlotte Brontë use Brontë; so do 95% of the titles including her name at the university collection where I checked that we were spelling the titles correctly. This is not a single swallow, and does make a summer. One dissentient, however, does not make policy; is there anyone else who agrees with PBS on this matter? There are several who disagree in this discussion alone. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 13:33, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I think we are arguing at cross purposes. My point is that it is better to include examples where there is no debate over the common English usage rather than words like Málaga/Malaga where it is not clear what the common usage in reliable sources is. It can not be beyond the wit of the editors of this page to choose names that used accent marks (or not) and are clearly the most common usage in reliable sources in English otherwise the examples contradicts the text. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 14:11, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Charlotte Brontë was introduced to illustrate that Google searches can produce results which differ from standard English usage. I didn't expect that the form I consider to be standard usage would be called an affectation! But yes, let's find some examples which do use diacriticals and can be agreed on (will that be possible?) as standard English usage. How about the three original examples of Besançon, Edvard Beneš and Göttingen? PamD (talk) 14:20, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Or Charlotte Brontë, as a substitute for one of them? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 14:23, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I woulodn't have thought the average reader would have heard of any of the three originals - what about Café as a well known and obvious example? Abtract (talk) 14:25, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
It's been disputed at WT:MOS; you may have to go into the archives. The problem here is that any extremely common word will have been anglicized quite often, but we still need guidance about Besançon.Septentrionalis PMAnderson 14:33, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Is Galápagos Islands any use? (Guardian style guide agrees with Wikipedia title choice) PamD (talk) 14:40, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
I suspect, however, that it has the same problems as Malaga. Our article and the Guardian's style may both be obeisances to Ecuadorean usage. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:53, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

We really need to write somewhere prominent that Google results about diacritic use are almost largely meaningless due to the restrictions of the optical character recognition algorithm they employ. In any search there are so many false positives and omissions that any numerical comparisons are spurious. For example PBS's search to pick out cases of Soren and excluding Søren. Of the first five results we can see the text of, four use Søren on the title (Y, Y, Y, Y, N). OK, so maybe the OCR doesn't work on the title (never mind that this is the spelling people might actually remember most), but it even happens in the text - Søren gets Googlified as S0ren, Søren OCR'ed as Seren, text says Søren, OCR says Soren, OCR gives and f1nally SAren Kierkegaard - sometimes it even struggles with English! The 148 results for University of D0sseldorf tells us nothing about English usage and likewise neither do the above searches for Kierkegaard. You can clean up your results to be meaningful: you must first go through the results weeding out the false positives (and these are not rare - in my check they were the majority of results above) and then secondly try and perform an exhaustive search for all combinations Google might have OCR'ed the diacritic as (eg for ł try t, 1, l, k...) to avoid missing out large numbers of cases where an English writer did use the diacritic but Google has morphed it into something that you might not search for. However, it might be better to just admit Google is not up to the job on this one and try a more reliable method. Knepflerle (talk) 12:25, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. Added to WP:UE accordingly. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:11, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. Doubt it'll be the last time it'll have to be pointed out, but it's a welcome start! Knepflerle (talk) 18:14, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
As an amusing non-diacritic aside, this is a far more extreme example (thankfully!) than most... any guesses what "A8-SI02TOBS TO BIHXS HAKTTVACTTTBXNG-' COMPAHY" means? Answer here. (Clue - it's not L33t!) Knepflerle (talk) 18:27, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Interesting as the diversion over OCR is, are we now satisfied that the examples given are commonly spelt this way: Besançon, Søren Kierkegaard and Göttingen? If so how has it been determined? --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 10:58, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Airplane Accidents and Crashes

The talk page for Bashkirian Airlines Flight 2937 contains a debate about the inclusion of airliner names in mid-air collision articles. In this article is an entry about the collision between Bashkirian Airlines Flight 2937 and DHL Flight 611. However, though most mid-air collision articles feature year and location to identify the collision (for collision between two commercial airliners as opposed to collisions between one commercial airliner and one general aviation aircraft, which has the name of only the commerical airliner), there is no accepted norm in Wikipedia. Thus, I am requesting a naming convention to be created for Aviation Accidents, and more importantly, mid-air collisions. --Vreddy92 (talk) 01:23, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Naming conventions (Burmese)

Please come over to Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Burmese) and state whether or not you would like to approve our naming conventions. We don't have many, so it won't take much of your time. Thanks! Kaldari (talk) 15:54, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Really, we won't bite. Kaldari (talk) 17:11, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Provinces of Ecuador

Should the name of each of the Provinces of Ecuador include the extra marks, such as ñ, á, etc. The CIA world factbook list the 24 provinces without any extra marks, as in: Azuay, Bolivar, Canar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Galapagos, Guayas, Imbabura, Loja, Los Rios, Manabi, Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Pichincha, Santa Elena, Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas, Sucumbios, Tungurahua, Zamora-Chinchipe. Thanks. GregManninLB (talk) 00:42, 25 May 2008 (UTC)


Where can I find out about title qualifiers, e.g. Article Title (qualifier)? dorftrottel (talk) 18:18, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

They're called disambiguators in Wikipediese. See Wikipedia:Disambiguator. --Francis Schonken (talk) 16:51, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Is this acceptable?

There are two songwriter-guitarists with the name Al Anderson: Al Anderson (NRBQ) and Al Anderson (The Wailers). However, I'm not sure if this naming convention is acceptable. Would it be more acceptable if they were Al Anderson (rock musician) and Al Anderson (reggae musician), respectively, or is the existant naming just fine? Ten Pound Hammer and his otters(Broken clamshellsOtter chirps) 17:26, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Naming conventions (people)#Difficult to disambiguate: some examples. In view of that, both Al Anderson (NRBQ) and Al Anderson (The Wailers) appear acceptable to me. Al Anderson (rock musician) and Al Anderson (reggae musician) might be acceptable too, though. Guidance has no straightforward answer here, I'm afraid: it comes down to a consensus of editors, basing themselves on general principles like broad recognisability of the disambiguator, KISS, etc. --Francis Schonken (talk) 16:42, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
The reggae one already has "reggae, rock" as his genres in the infobox. What happpens if NRBQ then have a reggae phase? The NRBQ one should have a disam hatnote, like the Wailers one, then we're sorted. Johnbod (talk) 02:26, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

numbers and dates

I propose that exceptions be allowed to Wikipedia:Naming conventions#Numbers and dates: if a particular number is most likely to be typed into a search box by an ordinary user to mean something other than the date, then the article whose title is the number by itself should be a disambiguation page, and the year should be moved to [[number (year)]]. Specifically, I propose that the question, "Ask yourself: When readers enter a given term in the Wikipedia search box and pushes "Go", what article would they most likely be expecting to view as a result?" (as mentioned at Wikipedia:Disambiguation#Deciding to disambiguate) should be used not only to decide whether to disambiguate at all, but also be used to decide whether an article whose title is a number by itself should be a disambiguation page or a page about the year. There is a legitimate argument against, though, in that many Wikipedia articles currently have dates that are wikified in such a way that if you click on the year it sends you to the article for that year.

See also talk:911#requested move (2nd nomination). (talk) 16:17, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

With the current state of the MediaWiki software there's a technical reason why, currently, this is not very well possible. That reason is explained here: Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)#Autoformatting and linking (autoformatting of full dates according to user preferences, which currently would be broken if a year has a page name represented by something else than simply a number). There is a bug report to fix the whole "date autoformatting" feature of the MediaWiki software, currently discussed (again) at WP:VPP#Date links suck. - note: "All of our attempts to get the developers at Bugzilla to decouple autoformatting from linking have met a dead end. Brion Viber there doesn't seem at all keen to push things forward, despite a petition I organised more than a year ago with nearly 90 WPian signatories (I'm quite sure I could raise many hundreds now). See HERE (Comment 35 ff)." - where User:Brion Vibber is the chief software developer.
Anyway: let that not stand in your way to add a suggestion for a solution to the problem of "non-year numbers" as you mentioned above to the bug report linked to in the quote above.
PS, these things should better be discussed at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (numbers and dates) - but since a pointer was placed on that page to here, I suppose it's OK here too. --Francis Schonken (talk) 16:53, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
Strong oppose. In addition to problems on specific articles (relating to date autoformatting, etc.), this would break many of the year, decade, and century templates. (Probably not any millennium templates, but....). — Arthur Rubin (talk) 19:36, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
This could probably be worked around with a maintained {{year article}} template in those navigation templates, which would make {{year article|911}} point to 911 (year), but that template would be used in (at least) all year, decade, century, and millennia articles, so each change would force redisplay of those articles. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 19:40, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
Oppose. I think this is an area in which we do need to be systematic, rather than case by case, ie all undisambiguated integer article names should be used for the same subject area. But there are many possible subject areas.
Personally, I'd use the undisambiguated article names as the names of the articles on integers, so for example 3 would be the name of the article now at 3 (number), but then I'm a mathematics enthusiast. My second choice would be to use the undisambiguated names for diambiguation pages, so then 3 would be the name of what is now at 3 (disambiguation). Years CE, as currently, would probably be my third choice, a very poor third at best but acceptable, and it's working well and it's a lot of trouble to change it.
Some of this trouble we can predict, for example many millions of external links would be broken, but I'm sure we will also find problems we haven't even guessed with a change of this size. Andrewa (talk) 01:29, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I would support this, if the technical issues can be overcome without excessive effort. For low numbers, some other meaning, such as the integer, is probably the most likely, and in any case 6 is no more significant than 6 BC. Johnbod (talk) 02:22, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Comment: I want to mention that the scope of my proposal is rather narrow; it only affects numbers that are "most likely to be typed into a search box by an ordinary user to mean something other than the date." Also, the reason for the proposal was to allow only 911 to be moved. There was a proposal to move 911 before, but this failed the first time was because of this policy, hence my proposal to change it. However, then I realized that emergency numbers are different in each country, and so the move-request has sort of snowballed. If WP:IAR would allow 911 (either by itself or in addition to a select few other emergency phone numbers) to move without changing the policy, then go right ahead. (talk) 05:52, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
That may be the intention, but the effect of this proposal as you've described it above, if adopted, would be to rename many other articles as well. I think there needs to be more work done, both on the exact wording of the proposal and on estimating how many articles would be affected by it. And I suspect it won't be adopted even then, but I could be wrong. Andrewa (talk) 11:13, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Agree that case by case basis would be very messy here. Perhaps if only four-digit number article names are for years? But even so, the workload sounds extremely heavy; who will do all the work? -- Jao (talk) 11:33, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm particularly concerned that the criteria for this proposed case by case basis are unclear. The intention was to affect only one article. That has now become nine. I think this underlines the difficulty in determining whether a number is most likely to be typed into a search box by an ordinary user to mean something other than the date. Andrewa (talk) 14:00, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - reasons given are insufficient to move away from the status quo; and allowing exceptions simply opens the door to pov and tendentious arguments ... imho. Abtract (talk) 12:58, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Conflict between this page and WP:NC-KO

Hello. I just noticed a conflict between a guideline on this page and one at Korean naming conventions. The example used on this page for "People" is the UN Secretary General. It states his name should follow Western name order, "Ki-moon Ban." The method outlined in Wikipedia's Korean naming conventions is the exact opposite, "Ban Ki-moon". In my experience, it is this latter method that is used on nearly all Wikipedia articles, both in titles and contents. In fact, it's the method used for Mr. Ban's article; "Ki-moon Ban" is just a redirect. This conflict of info could be quite confusing, especially for new editors or those without experience editing articles about Korean subjects. :) Thanks for your time. --hamu♥hamu (talk) 16:02, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

I think you misunderstood - the example is given as an example of the problem, not of the solution - note it gives both methods. Editors are directed to Korean naming conventions for the solution. --GRuban (talk) 19:58, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Oh I did misunderstand! I see some rewording has been done. Thanks so much for addressing this. :) --hamu♥hamu (talk) 23:58, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Diacritics in tennis

(also posted at VPP) I'm not sure I can fully keep up with everything that's going on regarding moves of tennis players, but the main discussion seems to be here. The question is whether foreign tennis players' names should include diacritics. In any case I think we badly need a general policy on such matters, so it isn't decided separately (and likely inconsistently) for every sport or particular line of activity.--Kotniski (talk) 08:02, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Current guidance: WP:UE#Modified letters (that is, after a lot of rejected guidance, including Wikipedia:Naming conventions (standard letters with diacritics) - unless for those tennis players that are also Nordic demi-gods, in which case Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Norse mythology) might apply ;) --Francis Schonken (talk) 17:03, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

A new page, WP:Usage of diacritics, has been proposed by a handful of editors; it would decide that specific modified letters are always to be used, and others are never to be used. I do not understand the basis on which the distinction is to be made; but do come comment. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:42, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Usage of diacritics

See the new proposal Wikipedia:Usage of diacritics. "For a placename or person that is well known in the English-speaking world, i.e. is widely mentioned in English-language sources: ... " --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 08:24, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Proposed change to the page name

Up until 7 October 2004 this page carried a top note that said

One of Wikipedia's policies and guidelines

This was removed by user:UninvitedCompany and relpaced with Category:Wikipedia official policy. On 12 May 2005 user: Radiant! removed the category and added a {{policy}} top box.

Before this became policy the page used to say "Naming conventions is a list of guidelines on how to appropriately create and name pages." so the current name was appropriate, but once it became policy the name is not as clear as it could be. I suggest that it is changed to either Naming convention or Naming policy with or without "Article" or "Page" in front (eg as an alternative Article naming policy). If there is a consensus to alter the name the I suggest we put it up to a "requested move" with the various options that emerge from this conversation to determine what the name should be. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 10:40, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Has no one else an opinion on this? --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 10:51, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

"Article naming policy" seems best to me ... if you can be bothered to change a long-standing name. TONY (talk) 10:58, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Change to first paragraph

Once the name has been change, the first paragraph "Naming conventions are a list of guidelines on how to create and name pages ..." should be rewritten to explain this page is policy and that it should be interpreted with the three content policies to determine the appropriate name for a Wikipedia article page. We do not place in the three content policies sentence at the start of them such as "These policy rules are not carved in stone." to undermine the authority of the policies, nor should we do so here.

Also a clear distinction should be made between this policy page and the guidelines that explain this policy (as we do for the content policies). --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 10:40, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Change to policy

The introduction to this page has been largely unchanged: since it was formulated by user:mav on the 6 May 2002 and as such it predatest two of the three core content policies -- Wikipedia:Verifiability ( 2 August 2003 ) Wikipedia:No original research (21 December 2003 ) only Wikipedia:Neutral point of view existed at the time

I think the current wording:

Generally, article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature.

needs an overhaul to bring it in line with the content policies. Either we should change the initial sentence, or add a second sentence that says something like

Use verifiable reliable sources to determine the title that the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity.

Some other points that I think ought to be included in this policy document are:

  • This policy should take ownership of descriptive names (as mentioned in the section "First sentences" in the MOS and some other guidelines and explain on the policy page when it is appropriate to use descriptive names and how to formulate them.
  • In some cases such as Liancourt Rocks where there is no clear common name and some naming options carry a non neutral point of view consider using a neutral name even though it is not the most common, this is mentioned for descriptive name in Wikipedia:Naming conflict but NPOV should be included on the policy page. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 10:40, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
How often is there a "verifiable reliable source" that actually addresses which title the majority of English speakers would recognize, versus how often does each source just use the name its author is most comfortable with (with maybe a passing mention of other names)? And how often does a source that does try to discuss which name is most common use a definition of "English speakers" that does not equal "English speakers in my region"? In other words, would this proposed change really do much good or would it just give name warriors license to argue over whose "reliable source" is better? Anomie 11:09, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Anomie's objection. This proposal would set a standard that would be impossible to meet for the vast majority of articles. Even very well-sourced topics may not have any sources that directly address the names used. The current standard is not stringent, a reflection of the real situation that we face in citing article names. That said, we should give greatest attention to what reliable sources say about names and avoid excessive reliance on Ghits. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 11:41, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
I am not suggesting that we look for a source that analyses the name of an article to decide on what is the appropriate name, but that the name is decided upon by usage in sources as it is now. In the vast majority of cases the name used in reliable sources is the same as the name used most sources so there is no conflict. Where sources differ more weight should be given to those defined as reliable sources in WP:SOURCES and little weight to unreliable sources. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 13:55, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
This strikes me as a solution in search of a problem, ie: needless WP:CREEP. I understand the proposer's intent is to use the "best" name but there are real world situations where this policy proposal would be virtually unworkable. We have addressed this a long time ago when the ability to redirect alternate article names was introduced into the software.

Some examples where this proposal will not work are:

1. Names that use illegal ascii characters: Considering some of the strange ascii character names/words used by hackers/crackers (like "\/\/aReZ" for a bloody simplistic example) it is conceivable that one day one of these folks will become infamous and thus encyclopedic. I do not think Wikimedia can support an article named \/\/aReZ yet that would be the requirement of this proposal. Likewise don't we have a user around here with a name like "[1=2]" or something like that? What if that user become famous for something related to his wikipedia userid (maybe he/she publicly donates a BILLION dollars to the Foundation under their username), can wikimedia support an article name of [[[1=2]]]?

2. Names that fall under disambiguation: Suppose there is a famous author named "John Quill Public" circa 1776 and along comes a new famous author in 2008 named "John Quantum Public" in both cases all the WP:RS always refer to them simply as John Q. Public ... who gets the "best" name? Low Sea (talk) 17:33, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

(ec) As far as I've seen, most "real" naming conflicts (as opposed to someone just being difficult over something like whether some BLP should be under the stage name or the legal name) are due to different names being used in the US versus Europe or some other division of major regions (e.g. "gasoline"/"petrol", "airplane"/"aeroplane", or the brand names of all sorts of products). In these cases, you'll have reliable sources on both sides and thus arguments about whose source is more "reliable" on top of all the Ghits, redefining "English speakers", and such that already goes on.
In which sort of situation would this change actually help reach a consensus instead of just giving more to argue about? (Serious question, not sarcasm) Anomie 17:41, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

This is an effort to strengthen WP:UE against claims, such as those on Talk:Franjo Tuđman, that the usage of English reliable sources be ignored. In that case, English usage is quite clear; the only source in English that was found to use the present spelling was a Belgrade radio-station's webpage, against all the standard sources listed. But I'm sorry, Philip, I'm not convinced this change would help; some other might. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:27, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

How about:
Generally, article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize (as demonstrated by the usage of verifiable, reliable sources in English) with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature.
Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:31, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
I was not specifically thinking of "Use English", I was thinking of many of the controversial Wikipedia:Requested moves. There also needs to be a mention of national varieties of English in this policy to clarify Calcutta and Pearl Harbour type names. In general as this is a very old policy and it is not very well integrated with more recent policies and although in practice many editors often agree to use the other policies in evaluating names, there is often an awkward squad who do not (as can be seen time and time again at WP:RM). --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 09:15, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Here for example is an current dispute about whether an article should be called Polish–Teutonic War (1431–1435) or the Civil war in Lithuania (1431–1435) --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 12:36, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Ah, I see. My proposal above would cover that; what do reliable English sources call the war? (Doubtless there are Polish and Lithuanian sources which each use their national version - indeed, that's the real problem.) It would also leave disambiguation and ease of linking, which are genuine goods, in the policy; some comments may not have caught, as I did not catch until just now, that your second box is a supplement to the existing wording, not a replacement. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 12:44, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Yours is the smaller change, and I think we should implement it after a short delay while we wait for any other comments. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 18:38, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Upon consideration I thought it too short to be readable; I have added a sentence with the same key phrase. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:02, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Along the same lines

I would also change the wording on dashes from: For use of hyphens, dashes and hair spaces in page names, see Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dashes). to

Use a hyphen or dash in a page name if reliable sources on the subject do.

I omit hair spaces because they have technical problems even in text; we should avoid them in titles.

This is a current problem; there is a proposal to deal with these en masse with a bot, and this is being taken as a grant of policy status to MOS; that is undesirable. MoS's present wording is long but vague:

[Endashes are used] To indicate disjunction. In this role there are two main applications.
  • To convey the sense of to or through, particularly in ranges (pp. 211–19, 64–75%, the 1939–45 war, May–November) and where movement is involved (Dublin–Belfast route). The word to, rather than an en dash, is used when a number range involves a negative value or might be misconstrued as a subtraction (−3 to 1, not −3–1). This is also the case when the nearby wording demands it, e.g., he served from 1939 to 1941 and not he served from 1939–1941. Therein, from and to are complementary and should both be spelled out.
  • As a substitute for some uses of and, to or versus for marking a relationship involving independent elements in certain compound expressions (Canada–US border, blood–brain barrier, time–altitude graph, 4–3 win in the opening game, male–female ratio, 3–2 majority verdict, Michelson–Morley experiment, diode–transistor logic; but a hyphen is used in Mon-Khmer languages, which marks no specific relationship, and in Sino-Japanese trade, in which Sino-, being a prefix, lacks lexical independence. (emphasis added)

and should not be confused with policy; indeed, there is some disagreement as to what exactly the Mon-Khmer exception is based on. Better to make the usage of reliable sources policy. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 14:29, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Ah, I'm glad I saw this. Anderson has a particular personal peeve about en dashes; aside from other things, he uses a font/browser that fails to distinguish them from hyphens (or barely succeeds). This matter has now been closed at MOS in the past few days, and Anderson and others have not succeeded in having the guideline on using en dashes in article titles almost completely watered down. A prime concern has always been that it makes us look like fools to have a hyphen in the title, and then an en dash in the main text for the same compound item. That is why the guideline changed decisively more than a year ago at MOS. I think Anderson was right to remove "hairspace" (technical problem), but I see no reason for introducing a conflict with MOS just because he didn't get his way there. I'll be alerting others at MOS about this. Expect visitors.
I propose that the pre-existing text be reinstated with the exception of "hairspaces" to avoid editors arguing that a particular "reliable" source uses a hyphen, when MOS clearly states that an en dash be used, in both main text and in article title. TONY (talk) 14:24, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

In fact, on further investigation, it's clear that Anderson launched in and changed the policy a day and a half after raising it here, without so much as a comment from anyone else. That is no consensus. I'm reverting. Contributors both here and at MOS are being deceived. TONY (talk) 14:40, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Tony "has here in his hand" the products of a vast investigation, showing that I was bold after nobody objected. Now that he has, let us consider the substance; this change did three things:
  • That we should not use hair spaces in titles: Tony concurs.
  • Substituted a {{see also}} like most of this page's other references to guidelines.
  • Summarized WP:DASH by Use a hyphen or dash in a page name if reliable sources on the subject do. Does Tony disagree with this summary, which is true of this page, and the basis for MOS's detailed decisions? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:20, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
I support Septentrionalis on this issue, we should follow what done in reliable sources. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 18:32, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, Shearer, supporting someone's clearly deceptive behaviour is not something I'd own up to so readily, but if you want it on the record, sure. TONY (talk) 02:34, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Rejoinder to Anderson's response: There's a limit to the amount of circular argument I'll waste my time with when it concerns this person. Again, his three bullets are themselves deceptive: partly true, to engage trust in the reader, but diversionary in that they don't state the deception; I've stated it already—complete harmony with MOS (by link referral) had been replaced with a home-made prescription (if other "reliable sources" use a hyphen or en dash, you can ignore the MOS guidelines in the title, oh, and see also MOSDASH). This introduced inconsistency between this page and MOS—a loophole for wikilawyering—and was poorly worded to boot.
I now have this page on my watchlist, and will encourage others at MOS to do so. If I respond further on this issue, it will be very circumspect. TONY (talk) 02:34, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

No wikilawyering please, stick with the developed MoS pages on endash usage in titles so article title will be consistent with good usage and with dash usage in the rest of the article. Relating dashes/hyphens to reliable sources is the ultimate in wikilawyering. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:40, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Being conservative with dashes

I'm in a difficult position here. On the subject of dashes, I'll say what I've always said: there are signs that hyphens are growing in popularity, but there is no rule on Wikipedia that we have to prefer today's web sources to yesterday's books, or that we have to run around changing orthography in all our GAs and FAs because some style guideline changed a rule. (This also applies to naming conventions, although these aren't my usual hunting grounds, so I'm a little out of my element.) There are solid reasons to be conservative and to respect our "installed base" of GAs and FAs, and there is nothing wrong with having a "house style", particularly for FAs. Really, we only have a tiny number of guidelines that could be called a "house style"; we are much more lenient in that regard than any professional publication I can think of. I am strongly against throwing out any style guideline because it makes a few people uncomfortable; I want these conflicts to get resolved by all of us, on these pages, because if not, if we act like a bunch of weenies who can't resolve these conflicts, then we force all the other editors to have to fight these fights repeatedly, in every article, against all comers.

On the other hand, I strongly favor anything that makes style discussions easier, more democratic, and fairer; less a matter of "I like it" and more a matter of "What do our sources do?" (Note: that's not "Anyone ought to be able to do anything any source does", that's an acknowledgement that sources are our raw material.) Also, we're subject to bold, revert, discuss just like everyone is, and the number of complaints and edits and reversions on the subject of dashes shows that the matter isn't settled. I think we probably have consensus for the status quo, but I don't believe that it's a given that we will always have consensus, so eventually, sometime, we should talk about this again (say, January). But Sept's comments here and on WT:MOS feel like gaming the system to me. That's all I'm going to say for now; I have written Sept privately about this. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 03:21, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

I felt I should comment, although it's unfortunate that I don't have the ability (or is it confidence?) to express myself in the same manner as Tony, Septentrionalis or Dank55.
Instead I'll say, Spetentrionalis: tsk tsk. You should have waited for others to comment and for a consensus to be agreed upon. Secondly, policy and guidelines should be running on the same track, not veering off in different directions so that no-one knows what the hell they're supposed to be following. I'm a rather easy going guy, and I'll quite happily go along with whatever the community decides even if I don't like it. All I want is consistency.
That being said, my preference is to have ndashes in titles where they are called for (as prescribed by the MOS). I don't think that we should water ourselves down to imitate what a "reliable source" does. If the New York Times uses a hyphen, that doesn't mean we should. They have their own house style, we have ours. We should create redirects using hyphens though, so that "users"/"readers" (not "contributors" who should be aware of the MOS already) can easily find the article using the buttons on their keyboard without putting much thought into the style. Matthewedwards (talk contribs  email) 04:52, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
The crux of this problem, as I see it, as well as that of many other similar situations involving the Manual of Style and occasionally other guidelines and policies, is that Mr Anderson nurtures unusual views of Wikipedia regarding the principles of editorial judgement and consistency. Simply put, he values the former to the detriment of the latter. Making changes following such convictions is not of no consequences, and I shall explain why.
Wikipedia is a massive project, and it is based on many fine balances. The sheer size of the project necessarily means that it will straddle all topics and nations, and that concessions must be made concerning various systems, styles, and conventions, as these may enjoy equally popular use in different geographic areas or academic disciplines. However, one must also remember that Wikipedia is a single work, and that for the benefit of its readers and editors there must be a certain degree of consistency in article-writing and -structuring, as well as in navigation and classification, in order to preserve an essential coherency within the encyclopaedia. Such consistency not only aids the readers by following the principle of least surprise, but it also ensures a more professional and reliable body, which can inspire trust and respect in the academic community. Therefore, as much as it is important to ensure that all dialects and writing systems will be represented, according to the extent of their use in the world, we must also keep in mind that articles are connected to each other by thousands of invisible lines, across topics and nations, and that there cannot be clear divisions. Wikipedia cannot be compartmentalised. For this reason there are different levels of adherence to specific rules: some things should be consistent within articles, others within thematic units, and, finally, some things should be consistent project-wide. This principle constitutes, as many others do, a delicate balance and dynamic tension between editorial choices and overall consistency. These things have been discussed for a very long time, and conventions have been shaped and established, after careful consideration of their benefits and side-effects, and building upon a growing history of common practices and accepted precedents.
The recent attempt to overturn such a long-standing convention, regarding en dashes, has been defeated after such a weighing occurred again, resulting in the full justification of the guideline and therefore at the conclusion that it is reasonable and beneficial to the project. In much the same way as I have described above, which applies to the evolution of the overwhelming majority of the community's policies and guidelines, it has been decided that it should be policy to apply reasonable consistency to articles' titles, and that the guideline at the Manual of Style describes well the proper conventions that should be followed when creating and moving articles—conventions which cannot be summarised here without compromising their clarity and accuracy. I remind the honourable colleagues that article titles are more strictly regulated than text—which is why this page is policy and the MoS a guideline—for it concerns the very position of articles, and affects important aspects of navigation and classification crucial to the organisation and accessibility of Wikipedia's content. It is for this reason that the balance between editorial judgement and general consistency is so decisively tilted towards the latter in the Naming Conventions, and this should always be the case. Introducing ambiguities between article titles and text, and between article titles themselves, is detrimental to the usability and good presentation of our articles, and this must not be allowed.
I reserve the right to recycle this argument in similar future attempts by Mr Anderson. He rarely ever presents fresh arguments (if any), so I see fit to spare myself the pains of writing new cases against his constant position. Especially considering how he undermines it himself in every opportunity by circumventing the community's will and established consensus-determining processes in order to impose his peculiar views on the rest of us. I call upon the community to denounce such practices that fly in the face of Wikipedia's fundamental principles. We have had enough. Waltham, The Duke of 07:53, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
I fully support what Matthew and the Duke are saying, except that I'd like to repeat that it's not up to us to figure out if Sept has crossed some line or not, that's for mediators or the nice folks at WP:ANI to figure out. Rewriting policy when he knows there's no consensus for the change, prolonging this argument long past the point where it's productive, forum-shopping ... it appears to me that Sept is crossing multiple lines here. But it's not for me to decide, and somehow I doubt that Sept is going to take my word for it :) As I say, I've written Sept privately. I asked him if there's someone on Wikipedia whose judgment he really admires; maybe we could sit down and work these issues out, publicly or privately. If not, I'm thinking the next step might be WP:AN, where we can have a general discussion about how WP:POINT does and doesn't apply to style guidelines and naming conventions pages; I think that people are all over the map on this, and how can we know what the limits are if the people who make the calls won't tell us?
Someone objected to my saying "January" above. According to discussions at bold, revert, discuss and WP:CONSENSUS, people can register that there may not be consensus in several ways: they revert, they complain, they post messages, they do things their own way. There's some of that on the subject of dashes, so I don't think we're quite at the place where we can say the subject is closed forever; we can only say that, recently, it's been argued to death and there is clear consensus, as far as I can tell. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 14:35, 2 July 2008 (UTC)


I did not mean to deceive anybody. I made a proposal which seemed to me harmless and mildly beneficial, if of no great consequence. I waited, and seeing no objection, I inserted it. ItThe text about reliable sources seemed to me essentially commonplace, to be expanded by WP:DASH in the same manner other guidelines expand this page. Now that there is objection, I will limit my discussion to this:

I don't see that the present text of WP:DASH, quoted above, is a "long-established" or definite line at all; it offers no method of deciding questions except those parallel to its handful of cases. If it did, we would not have had this discussion about one of the most common and invariable cases of hyphenation.

If it is a clear convention, what does it say about African-American? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:36, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

I am making progress with some informal, private mediation. I keep worrying that we don't have enough people to do the jobs that need doing, and it pains me that people who know as much as Tony and Sept know have to spend time dealing with stuff like this. I would like for all of us (whoever "us" is) to agree to (pardon the psychobabble) "boundaries", things that we shouldn't have to worry about facing when we get up in the morning and pull up our watchlists. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 20:08, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
P.S. I have read what Sept wrote above, and my position hasn't changed: we have said for a long, long time that hyphens mean "and" and en-dashes mean something else. I think that Sept made a change to policy when he should have known that his change didn't have consensus. However, this is what feuds do to people: issues start to look black and white, and anything that opposes the other side starts to look like a good idea. I am totally willing to forgive and forget, as long as I can get some reasonable concessions from both sides to reduce the antagonism. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 22:24, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Hyphens mean "and" and en-dashes mean something else. Even this would be an improvement; WP:DASH doesn't say that either. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:38, 5 July 2008 (UTC)


I had no idea...Wtmitchell reverted Tony's edit and said to see WP:PG, and sure enough, it says there that naming conventions are a kind of guideline. Also, the second sentence on the page says "These are conventions, not rules carved in stone." "convention" doesn't sound like policy to me. But the page is in the policy cat, and has been for a long time. So, is this page policy or not? If it's policy, why would one naming convention be policy, and the others not be? I've always wondered that. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 03:56, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

The page is policy, has been policy for a long time, and it makes perfect sense why it should be policy: as I have said above, the location of articles is of great importance to navigation and classification, and to the usability of Wikipedia in general. The supplementary pages cannot be policy as well, however, because that would take away much of the meaning of the status. Imagine having 45 policy pages and another 60 for the naming conventions; it just wouldn't feel right. The accompanying pages function as supplements–appendices to the main page, and share much of its status; their tagging as guidelines solves the problem of hierarchy. Waltham, The Duke of 04:45, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Tracking down the pieces, something started all the way back in 2006 (and the page has been marked policy ever since). But WP:POLICY specifically discusses this page at Wikipedia:POLICY#Guidelines. Needs sorting a long way back. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:55, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm going to query Jdforrester, since his name was mentioned in that edit summary, I'm not sure if an ArbCom case was involved, and we need the pieces to sort this out.[8] SandyGeorgia (Talk) 05:02, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
To follow-up, IIRC I mentioned to SPUI that it wasn't appropriate to call it a "policy", as there is necessarily a much less stringent concept of consensus binding on the actions following naming conventions as opposed to, e.g., personal attacks, as there can be only one answer (albeit with redirects as appropriate). Another reason is that some areas explicitly ignore the general naming conventions and have their own - such as our articles on Peers, wherein we invented a naming system entirely of our own, but which suits. Policy, such as NPOV, does not vary depending on the subject matter (BLP excepted, but that's rather different and relates to editorial behaviour more so than content). In general, Dank55 has it right - it sits somewhere between "policy" and "guideline", but if anything tends towards the latter.
James F. (talk) 16:42, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't mind stating this explicitly in WP:PG. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 18:22, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, my word isn't gospel, merely an occasionally-mildly-well-informed mumbling. But you have my blessing to try to explain the vagaries of distinction between flavours of policy if you think you can get consensus, something at which I've failed so far.
James F. (talk) 20:28, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
I also notice that it's been part of the Wikipedia:List of policies since that list was created. Paul Erik (talk)(contribs) 05:09, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
"This page documents an official English Wikipedia policy"—That's at the top. So which is it to be? Either the top bit goes or the replacement of "guideline" with "policy" in the opening sentence is reinstated. I don't care, but it has to be consistent. TONY (talk) 10:53, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
I always thought it was something of a non-issue, because a "naming guideline" always seemed necessarily less flexible than a style guideline but more flexible than a policy. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 11:01, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
When I reverted, saying that this page is not a policy, I was relying on the info gleaned from Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines, which I confess that I just gave a quick look and a text search for "naming". That page contains a boxed list produced by {{policylist}} and headed "Wikipedia policy", which does not seem to address the area of naming conventions. The Guidelines section of that page says, "A naming convention or Manual of Style entry is a specific kind of guideline, related to proper naming, or the way articles should be written." (the link there from "naming convention" doesn't go to this page, though; it goes to [[:Category:Wikipedia naming conventions|naming convention]] — I missed noticing the piped redirect) I came away from that with the impression that the area of naming conventions in general is a guideline area rather than a policy area, and that this page therefore is a guideline rather than a policy.
Suffice it to say that I was confused—still am, a bit— but I see that the categorization of this page includes [[Category:Wikipedia content policies]], so I guess that the earlier impression I formed, relying on info gleaned from the Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines article, was incorrect. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 23:07, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
It says "a naming convention" (apparently out of many) and treats it more as an example than anything else. I'd say it probably refers to the sub-pages of the Naming Conventions main page, which are classified under a separate category of guidelines. The only reasonable conclusion which I have been able to reach about the "guideline" status is that it is used for practical reasons, a thought which I analyse in my first message in this thread. Waltham, The Duke of 02:00, 4 July 2008 (UTC)


I've noticed that there is a slight lack of consistency in the naming of cuisine articles. Over at Wikipedia:WikiProject Food and drink we're pretty much agreed upon that XXX cuisine should be the standard with exceptions when the adjective is too ambiguous, such as American cuisine. I've created a proposal at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (cuisines) to address the issue.

Peter Isotalo 09:35, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Most common = North American ?

As I understand things, an important property of wikipedia is that it does not have a bias for any major English-speaking group. So we have articles called Color and Autumn, and Diaper and Central reservation. One could argue that the "greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize" North American English, and so North American titles should predominate. (Or perhaps the "greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize" Commonwealth English — we could commission a survey to find out.)

What is there to stop these kinds of arguments? I think one name should be chosen over another only when there is a very clear majority, but I can't find this in the policy. (talk) 18:56, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

See WP:ENGVAR. Wikipedia has no preferred format; the MOS only requires that the same variant of English be used throughout a particular article. Which variant to use is generally chosen by the article author at the time the article is created, and should rarely be changed. Generally speaking, topics which share some relationship with a national dialect is written in that dialect. So an article on London would be written using British English, while (whilst?) an article on New York City would be written in American English.
Again, the overwhelming consensus is to be as open as possible, while remaining consistent within an article, and not changing entire articles from one variant to another on a whim. Hope that helps. Livitup (talk) 12:20, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I know what has driven the original poster to ask this question and I know the angle that he/she is coming at this from. The OP is talking about what might happen if the "greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize" rule is applied to every article naming dispute (and specifically naming). What actually defines that sentence? is it people who have English as a native language or is it people who can speak English and use the English WP? The OP is asking how do we balance the North American Native English speakers with the Worldwide number of people who can speak English? Google hits and reliable sources are liable to be biased to North American sources and therefore could sway article naming to a North American perspective even though every other English speaker in the World knows the subject of an Article by a single different name.
For the purposes of full disclosure, the problem that has caused this question is the naming of the Sega Mega Drive games console. The Mega Drive is Japanese in origin and was called Mega Drive the World over, the console was renamed to Genesis for its release in North America. The current call for a rename revolves around the Genesis name and if the number of native English speakers in North America outweighs the fact that it was known to English speakers in the rest of the World as Mega Drive.
The OP is asking how we draw a balance. ie if the number of people who are native English speakers is the rule; then by default, all naming disputes will result in a North American version being the one recognised by the greatest number of English speakers. But if the number of people who can speak English is the rule to follow then naming disputes will always result in a Worldwide name being chosen. - X201 (talk) 13:22, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Our ENGVAR rules at MOS have evolved to work superbly well, given the huge editorship from the seven ancentral native-English-speaking countries. Don't tell me you're going to blot our copy-book. Who cares, in the end whether it's in US or Br English? The differences are trivial. Work it out among yourselves, and be generous to the other side. What you win or lose this time, you lose or win on another article. TONY (talk) 14:44, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
And above all be generous with redirects, hatnotes, and anything else which will help speakers of all varieties of English to find the info they want in Wikipedia (and to avoid them creating a new article because they didn't find the first one!) PamD (talk) 14:49, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Thank you all for your responses. I have just seen a fairly recent modification of WP:UE#Divided usage. "When there is evenly divided usage and other guidelines do not apply, leave the article name at the latest stable version." I think this advice should be included here, at WP:NC, too. The advice seems appropriate even if the dispute is not over English usage. If two large groups of people use different names for the same thing, then the existing name should be retained if other guidelines do not apply — regardless of whether one group is slightly larger than another, which countries the groups come from, etc. (talk) 10:19, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Capitalization of tech trademarks, again

This might be more of an issue for MOS:TM, but there are a number of technology-related articles with nonstandard capitalization that probably need to be straightened out. Just as other trademarks are to use standard capitalization, so should TeX, LaTeX, and related articles, as well as NeXT (and GRiD Compass, an article I created myself when I was less policy-aware, now moved). I recently moved the first two to Tex (typesetting system) and Latex (markup language), leaving intact a discussion of the "official" way to write these two names (it's worse, actually; their creators generally insist on a logo being used, as mentioned in the document). These moves were very quickly reverted by User:EmilJ with the comment WP:UCN "Use the most common name of a person or thing" and WP:NC "items ... should have standard capitalization". The standard capitalization is LaTeX. TeX and LaTeX are *never* *ever* referred to as Tex in English. This seems a rather obvious misunderstanding of the policy, but I thought I'd bring this up here first.

Just as Wikipedia doesn't burden itself with the likes of REALTOR, there's no reason for silly and attention-grabbing capitalization to be indulged for the likes of software products; "LaTeX" is pronounced "latex"; "NeXT" is pronounced "next". ProhibitOnions (T) 14:02, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

What a wonderful example. I'm guessing this will remain a counterexample to the guidance at WP:MOSTM, because I think academics and web designers aren't going to give up on TeX and LaTeX. But I'm guessing it's not a counterexample to WP:MOSCAPS, because I expect that newspapers and magazines use TeX and LaTeX ... am I wrong? There's nothing in NYTM or AP Stylebook. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 14:23, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
LaTeX is not pronounced "latex", BTW. (And the capitalization of "TeX" was itself chosen to distinguish it from "Tex" and "TEX", and LaTeX likewise is unrelated to latex.) shreevatsa (talk) 15:29, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Irrelevant. That's why we have disambiguation, and for that matter, normal capitalization of proper nouns. FWIW, there's a German textiles company that styles itself TeX, as well. It's quite simple: we are not beholden to idiosyncratic capitalization. ProhibitOnions (T) 16:22, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

The names of software are generally case-sensitive (which is itself tradition) and it is incorrect to change case based on some understanding of the English language's rules. Thus TeX, ls, grep, troff, GNOME (even though it's not an acronym now), wxWidgets, PyGTK, gDesklets, libXML, ORBit, ECMAScript, etc. I hope you are not suggesting that all these articles be renamed based on some reading of policy that trumps common sense and convention.
Just as it does for biological names, scientific nomenclature and the like, I propose that policy recognise that software names are case-sensitive. Note that WP:CAPS says: "Because credibility is a primary objective in the creation of any reference work, and because Wikipedia strives to become a leading (if not the leading) reference work in its genre, formality and an adherence to conventions widely used in the genre are critically important to credibility." Wikipedia not respecting the correct names of software would actually make it look stupid and lose credibility. shreevatsa (talk) 19:34, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

If you read the policy, you'll find that ECMAScript,, gDesklets, PyGTK, and probably wxWidgets are fine the way they are; this is a straw man argument. We could, indeed, consider a guideline for terms that originated as lowercase computer prompt commands, such as troff. However, our current policy has been discussed at great length; this is a general encyclopedia, and there's no good reason for showy capitalization of words that are not acronyms, but pronounced as written. ProhibitOnions (T) 19:59, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Like peeling an onion... WP:MOSTM states that in the case of trademarks (specifically) that the use of camelcase is up to the author. WP:CAPS, however, recommends Chicago as a "recommended reference works for capitalization conventions". Chicago says in §8.163 "Company or product names with an internal capital immediately following, and followed by, a lowercase letter should be left unchanged…" So, IMHO, LaTeX is correct, assuming it is, in fact, a trademark. Livitup (talk) 15:29, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't think that language from CMS gets at the capital X at the end of "LaTeX." Croctotheface (talk) 18:57, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

strengthening of the intro

This is a rare occasion on which I agree with Philip Baird Shearer's approach. Tony (talk) 13:38, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Requested help with a naming problem

Over on the Spore (2008 video game) page, we're having a rather winded discussion about where the page should reside.

Obviously, we already have Spore in general, so it can't be there. To make matters tricky, we have three existing video games from different years all called "Spore", but by and large, the 2008 game is most likely what people will be searching for (at least within the next year) when they type in "spore video game" into the search bar. Hatnotes are present to point to the other two Spore video games, and presently Spore (video game) is a mini-disambiguation page for the three games.

There are two concerns here.

  1. Should the 2008 game be at "Spore (2008 video game)" (as per preciseness), or, due to the fact that it is the most common video game to be searched for, be at "Spore (video game)"? The page agrees with the former, but there's a few that believe the latter is the better solution.
  2. If the page stays at "2008 video game", should the current disambig page at "Spore (video game)" actually be a redirection to the 2008 game (as it is the most common uses of "spore video game" or remain a disambiguation page?

Additional input will be helpful to resolve the dispute. --MASEM 17:52, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

WP:RM – the procedure is explained on that page. --Francis Schonken (talk) 18:48, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Spore (video game) shouldn't be a disambiguation page, mini or otherwise. It should be an article or a redirect. If it's a redirect to Spore (disambiguation), it'd be a {{R from incomplete disambiguation}}. If it becomes a redirect to Spore (2008 video game), then, yes, I'd move Spore (2008 video game) to Spore (video game), but that's not mandatory. If there's consensus at the page for one way or the other, that's sufficient. -- JHunterJ (talk) 01:46, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
My biggest problem is that I never had an opportunity to participate in the discussion, a discussion which very few people participated in, for the reason that there was no attempt to seek outside input, there was no "move discussion tag", so if you didn't go to the talk page, you had no way of being involved. It wasn't a real discussion, and there wasn't a real consensus. The only real reason not to put it at (video game) is the inconvenience. However, if it's moved and the redirects are repaired, nothing is harmed. (video game) is going to redirect to the disambig or the video game. The disambig isn't a likely scenario, since it would logically redirect to a specific video game. If it's (video game), it's going to go to the Spore PC article anyway. - A Link to the Past (talk) 05:25, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Just to state that A Link to the Past is the only person who has said it should be moved back all the others on the topic don't see any reason to move it back. Main argument for the page to stay where it is. Is that there is two other games named Spore and now all of them can be easilly separated from just the page tittle making mistakes almost null. This still doesn't seem to be good enough explanation for A Link to the Past who states that his opinion is the right as he thinks that it would be more beneficial to Wikipedia to have the game under "Spore (video game)" even if its makes posibility to mistakes. His saying that the main reason why people are against him is "inconvenience" is wrong they are against his suggestion as it wont benefit the page at all as its now more clearly identified from the two other games. I only wrote this as A Link to the Past seems to mistaken of the reasons why his suggestion is not widely accepted. Also what would be harmed if the "Spore (video game)" would just be redirect like it earlier was before some nameless individual made it to disambiguation page a deed that A Link to the Past blames on the people who vote for the move but wasn't even made by them. -- (talk) 08:43, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Unless there's some relevant, actionable history (like an AN/I or other review), please stop discussing A Link to the Past and just discuss the application of the Naming Conventions to the various Spore articles. Since there's a disambiguating phrase in the article title, it really won't matter much whether the dab phrase is "(video game)" or "(2008 video game)"; Wikipedia regulars might be tempted to try tacking on "(video game)", but most casual visitors won't, so they'll have to take the same path to the game regardless. Since Spore has a hatnote that directs 2008 video game seekers to the 2008 video game, it is even unlikely that regulars will need to bother with it. I've cleaned up Spore (disambiguation) and boldly redirected to Spore (video game) to it. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:02, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
The existence of a possibility for mistake is not relevant if the possibility of the mistake occurring is extremely minimal. Like JHunter said, if it's going to redirect to (2008 video game) anyway, nothing is changed. If Spore (video game) is about the PC game, and has a disambig note at the top, it's going to result in the same as if it were at 2008 video game - no matter what happens, if a user goes to Spore (video game) or Spore (2008 video game), they will end up at the PC game. If it's harmful for the PC Spore to be at (video game), it should be harmful for that to redirect to (2008 video game). The way it can be seen is that if any harm exists, both situations will have an equal level of harm, and if there is no other factor in deciding where it should be, it shouldn't matter - the only thing that has to be asked then is "is it necessary to give it a longer title?" To many VG users, (video game) is a common disambig after a video game. - A Link to the Past (talk) 01:37, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree with JHunterJ's course of action; Spore (video game) should not be a disambiguation page when its three items could easily be integrated in Spore (disambiguation). I didn't find the anchor that necessary, but I think the redirect to the disambiguation page was a good call. Waltham, The Duke of 23:42, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Naming conventions redirects

I propose that: commonly used redirects that currently link to guidelines describing the naming conventions, should be altered to redirect to the appropriate sections in this policy page. For example WP:COMMON should redirect to Wikipedia:Naming conventions#Use common names of persons and things, rather than to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names). This will allow it a clear distinction to be made between the naming conventions as policy and the naming conventions' guidelines. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 09:16, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was No consensus at this time to move to a new name. It's quite disappointing that after 3 weeks this has had so little discussion, and relisting requested moves generally does not generate more response from others. Take it up at Village pump (policy) to more likely have outside participation. Keegantalk 04:40, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Up until 7 October 2004 this page carried a top note that said

One of Wikipedia's policies and guidelines

This was removed by user:UninvitedCompany and relpaced with Category:Wikipedia official policy. On 12 May 2005 user: Radiant! removed the category and added a {{policy}} top box.

Before this became policy the page used to say: "Naming conventions is a list of guidelines on how to appropriately create and name pages." so the current name was appropriate, but once it became policy, the name is not as clear as it could be. In line with the hierarchy that other policies and guidelines have, I suggest that this page becomes the unambiguous policy page and that the guidelines remain clearly guidelines. Currently it is difficult for a new editor to see clearly that the naming convention is policy with detailed guidelines to explain the policy page rather than a sometimes conflicting amorphous mass. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 09:38, 10 July 2008 (UTC)


Add any other alternative names at the bottom of the Survey in chronological order

No move remain at: Naming conventions

  1. Support: leave well enough alone. It does contain several conventions. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:17, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
  2. Support; per Septentrionalis. --Serge (talk) 05:37, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Move to: Naming convention

  1. Support name that clarifies the issue with the minimum change of name. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 09:38, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
  2. Support but second choice. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:17, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Move to: Article naming convention

Move to: Naming policy

Move to: Article naming policy

#Support most succinct name --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 09:38, 10 July 2008 (UTC) struck out to try for a compromise. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 17:18, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
  1. Support—If only to quell the constant arguments on whether article names must or should follow this document. Livitup (talk) 16:00, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Move to: Article naming

  1. Support ultra-most succinct name ;) WP:V isn't called "Verifiability policy", WP:CIVIL isn't called "civility policy" etc. The name change might make it more clear that this applies to the article name only, and not per se the names used in article bodies, though of course it influences those decisions. Knepflerle (talk) 23:07, 10 July 2008 (UTC)


See the #Proposed change to the page name section above and also the discussion in the #Policy? section preceding this one that shows the confusion that the current name can cause. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 09:38, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

It would be simpler to say that the rules on this page are policy, and it links to many guidelines on how to fulfill those policies. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:22, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

  • This poll seems to entangle several issues that might be better as separate guages of opinion:
  1. Whether the page should be policy or guideline (just because Radiant launched in and changed it doesn't mean this has any status—I'm still confused)
  2. Whether "convention/s" should be singular or plural (surely plural)
  3. Whether "Article" should be explicit in the title.

Are my assumptions correct? TONY (talk) 13:01, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Radiant did not make this policy, this has been a policy since 7 October 2004 (see above for details)
This is policy and has been for a long time. What is not clear in the wording of this policy is whether only this page is policy or if the guidelines are policy as well. I think most editors who are familiar with the content policies (WP:NPOV, WP:V, and WP:NOR) agree that we have a policy and under that policy guidelines that explain aspects of the policy in more detail. This policy is no different. But it would help people who are less familiar with the details of other policies and guidelines if this was spelt out more explicitly. Once this poll is finished (what ever the outcome) I would like to alter the first paragraph to explain more forcefully that this is a policy and that it is part of the wider WP:CONSENSUS that all the policy documents are a part (Currently invoking WP:IAR in the first paragraph is not exactly the way to encourage consensus building for page names). --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 14:00, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Well yes, IAR should be flushed in this context. So why was I reverted when I tried to make the opening paragraph consistent with the template at the top that announces that this is policy? There's clearly not uniform thinking about this. Above, I set out a breakdown of three issues that appear to be entangled in the poll. I suggest that attitudes be surveyed to these individual issues instead. TONY (talk) 16:51, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
The revert of your edit was itself reverted by SandyGeorgia in just less than an hour. [9] and that reversal has not been reverted to date. So I guess the consensus is that this is a policy page. So I don't think this needs further debate unless someone disagrees. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 19:02, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Sandy didn't revert my edit. Look carefully. TONY (talk) 02:33, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
"The revert of your edit was itself reverted by SandyGeorgia in just less than an hour" does not say that SandyGeorgia reverted your edit. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 13:52, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

It appears important to ask now why this page is elevated to "policy", when "Layout" isn't. The layout of articles appears to me to be just as, if not more suitable for the tag "policy": it affects far more text in a very fundamental way as article titles. Convince me. TONY (talk) 03:32, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Naming conventions is (sic) policy and it has been been policy for may years. What has not been so obvious -- particularly for those who are not very familiar with other policies and guidelines -- is what is policy and what are guidelines. Whether other guidelines should become policy is I think a question for the village pump (policy) and the talk pages of guidelines that are to proposed for promotion to policy. But one fundamental difference between this page and WP:LAYOUT is every article has to have a name, but they do not have to have an agreed layout. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 08:09, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
They do have to have a layout, even though options are built in. I'm just questioning why there's a distinction between this page, which might be perfectly operable as a non-policy page—a styleguide like Layout—and others. You might say that article titles are fundamental, but so is article structure, and so are a number of other matters that are currently covered by style pages. May I turn it around and ask: what disadvantage would ensue from making this a styleguide like Layout? Who's going to disobey it just because of that? TONY (talk) 10:36, 16 July 2008 (UTC) PS In particular, I'm concerned at the messiness of having this page as "policy", but its closely related naming pages (a plethora of them, apparently), not. Why the distinction? TONY (talk) 10:38, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I think there is a distinction between page names and article titles, and this policy is about page names. How page names are handled in an article (article titles) is governed by the WP:MOS most often by the sections Article titles and First sentences. AFAICT There is nothing in this policy about the contents of an article (although some of the guidelines may, for example WP:UE mentions include alternative names in articles. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 12:06, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
(e/c)Tony, I think you're confusing the issue again by introducing discussion on LAYOUT. That's certainly a topic worthy of discussion, but that's not the purpose of this discussion and it runs contrary to your earlier admirable efforts to clearly scope the discussion here. Let us settle one fundamental issue first: Does WP have a policy on naming articles, or is there only a set of guidelines? Can we answer this here, or should we bring it up at the pump for wider consensus? I think that once that is clearly stated by consensus the direction we need to go here will become clear VERY quickly. Livitup (talk) 12:13, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Tony you wrote "May I turn it around and ask: what disadvantage would ensue from making this a styleguide like Layout?" I think that is answered by the disputes that end up at WP:RM. Most editors who edit in good faith are willing to accept policy trumps guidelines when it comes to making decisions over what applies in Wikipedia. If this is not policy then a local group of editors could legitimately argue that if there is a local consensus (a policy) to name a page that clashes with the naming convention, then that name should prevail because as Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines says "Policies and guidelines express standards that have community consensus. Policies are considered a standard that all users should follow, whereas guidelines are more advisory in nature." This would tie the hands of an administrator who is face with moving a page to a name that clashes with the naming conventions, because if the WP:RM process has thrown up a local consensus to move it, even if it was explained to those taking part in the WP:RM process why the name is inappropriate according to the guidelines, they could say but the naming conventions do not apply as they have a consensus for the move. As an administrator who deals with WP:RM requests when a backlog develops, IMHO without the Naming Conventions being policy the muppets will prevail. Just ask any administrator who often moves pages listed at WP:RM how many comments are placed on their talk pages complaining about how they have made the wrong decisions and that is with WP:NC as a policy!--Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 12:38, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Philip—sounds like a convincing argument. TONY (talk) 14:51, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

reliable sources using "the Beatles" or "The Beatles" in running text

Please take a look at Talk:The_Beatles#reliable_sources_using_"the_Beatles"_or_"The_Beatles". Thank you, Espoo (talk) 07:04, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Re. use in running text: unrelated to Wikipedia:Naming conventions, see WP:MoS instead.
The article naming issue (i.e. the naming conventions issue) regarding this band is settled at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (definite and indefinite articles at beginning of name)#Names of bands and groups. --Francis Schonken (talk) 08:21, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Franchise article naming convention discussion

A naming convention discussion for how to name franchise articles is taking place here. If anyone is interested, please come and give your input. LA (T) @ 23:15, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Articles addressing relations between two countries

Hi. There's a suggestion and the beginnings of a discussion here about a consistent way to name articles that address relations between two countries. Input would be appreciated; or should the thread be moved somewhere here? Sardanaphalus (talk) 18:06, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

RFC: Subtitles in naming

User:JHunterJ and I are having a dispute on whether an article on a board game should have its subtitle: I contend that it should, citing precedents such as Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness (both video games), Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (a film), and Descent: Journeys in the Dark (a board game) as examples, and thus I have proposed to move Elasund to Elasund: The First City. However, JHunterJ disagrees, claming that "Elasund" will the the name most refer it to and how most look it up, citing precedent in book naming conventions (which omit subtitles). A uniform policy across all such media is needed, and discussion should be useful in resolving this issue. kelvSYC (talk) 04:46, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Users JHunterJ and dcclark disagree with KelvSYC, because of WP:COMMONNAME. "Common name" is a uniform policy across all media (of which books are also a part). -- JHunterJ (talk) 10:49, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
I thought we'd banned proxies. :-) Waltham, The Duke of 15:40, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

For books, the issue is treated at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (books)#Subtitles.

"which omit subtitles" is however an incorrect summary of the relevant books guidance. It's not a good idea to start this discussion with an erroneous oversimplification imho.

I have no experience whether guidance comparable to the books guidance would be adjusted for fields as diverse as games, films, etc. --Francis Schonken (talk) 10:59, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Last time I checked, WP:COMMONNAME is with regards to names of people. But anyways, I should make it clear that subtitles are necessary in some certain contexts such as disambiguation (eg. Fire Emblem vs Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn), so we should be focusing on the naming of things in which the intended item is unambiguous without the subtitle. And from what I have seen, articles on films or video games at least tend to have the full name, while articles on books omit it. Here are more examples:

kelvSYC (talk) 15:52, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Re. "Last time I checked, WP:COMMONNAME is with regards to names of people" – please check again, Wikipedia:Naming conventions (people) was split of from WP:COMMONNAME in 2005. Really, starting a discussion with an exposé of erroneous simplifications is not the most brilliant of ideas.
I've encountered a few instances of book articles not following letter & spirit of Wikipedia:Naming conventions (books)#Subtitles. Accidents will happen, and in other cases sensible reasons not spelled out in the guideline were taken into account. Hard to build a case on a few unequal exceptions imho.
Re. Dr. Strangelove: I think that film should better be at that name. It was renamed without particular reason ([10]); it is a bit funny that the long version of the film title doesn't follow the capitalization provided by the distributor (see Image:Drstrangelove1sheet-.jpg); and it is generally known under the short name without ambiguity. --Francis Schonken (talk) 16:54, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

I won't argue about WP:COMMONNAME then, because it needs heavy refactoring - Saying that naming conventions on people was split off doesn't reflect nicely on WP:COMMONNAME since all of its examples are on articles about people. Again, I question whether the policy on books applies for other media. Perhaps books consistently omit subtitles (Frankenstein, and so forth), but calling what is probably standard practice in the names of other media as being "unequal exceptions" is a bit of a stretch, don't you think? Especially considering that in all likelihood the opposite is true in virtually every other form of media. I could prolly give a long list of CVGs for which including subtitles (where it isn't strictly necessary to establish the subject matter) is the norm, and given enough time, I could find BTGs, films, and other media for which this is also true. On a sidenote, how do you intend to resolve StarCraft: The Board Game vs Starcraft (board game)? kelvSYC (talk) 17:38, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

I've invited three relevant WikiProjects for their opinions: WP:CVG, WP:BTG, and WP:FILM on their thoughts. Let's see what they think, since it impacts them the most. —Preceding unsigned comment added by KelvSYC (talkcontribs) 13:43, July 17, 2008

Re. "WP:COMMONNAME [...] all of its examples are on articles about people" – please look again (WP:NCCN#Examples), 5 out of 11 examples are not people. I'm not going to make cheap jokes about the Guinea pig and the Sea cucumber.
Re. "Again, I question whether the policy on books applies for other media" – it doesn't, see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (books)#Scope and definitions.
Re. "Perhaps books consistently omit subtitles" – no, again, apart from a few exceptions (some of them simple errors or unawareness of the guideline), Wikipedia:Naming conventions (books)#Subtitles is the guideline that is applied for book articles.
Then follow more errors and arcane interpretations. No idea where you're trying to take yourself. --Francis Schonken (talk) 17:57, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Explain to me why you think I am erroneous when I cite existing practice, or where my interpretations are "arcane" - why WP:CVG has it wrong when they put the article at Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos instead of Warcraft III, or why they have it wrong when it's Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars instead of Super Mario RPG. These are clearly not books, and are outside the scope of book naming conventions. kelvSYC (talk) 18:30, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Sorry if this sounds like a repeat: I have no experience whether guidance comparable to the books guidance would be adjusted for fields as diverse as games, films, etc.
Apart from books I only commented on the Dr. Strangelove film, while it seemed pretty straightforward to me. I have no opinion regarding the games. The only thing I wanted to make clear still: if you request "a uniform policy across all [...] media", then either count books out, or adapt to the books guideline. The other media articles are currently subject to the general naming conventions guidelines, including WP:NCCN. --Francis Schonken (talk) 18:45, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

As a VG project editor I do think that game subtitles are used rather gratuitously and contrary to WP:COMMONNAME. While it is sometimes practical, in the case of disambiguation, it is often completely unnecessary or even counterproductive. For example, why is the article at Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty when the article also covers Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (the Xbox port), which is essentially the same game? Wouldn't it just make a lot more sense to drop the subtitle? I don't want to see a repeat of this for MGS4. Ham Pastrami (talk) 01:49, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

As I mentioned when the subject came up at the VG project, my preferred naming conventions are "STOP MOVING IT" and "redirects are cheap, and also your friends." Nifboy (talk) 07:31, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

My 2p (which others have stated above): consistent with practice for books and movies, 1) include the subtitle in the full article ONLY when necessary for disambiguation (either among games, like titles that are part of a series, or between game and non-game articles that would otherwise have the same title): this is the only reason why Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan has a subtitle; there is a separate article at Borat that is about the character. 2) It would of course be OK to create a redirect article with a name that includes the subtitle, pointing to the non-subtitled full article. 3) To NB's "STOPMOVINGIT" concern: consistency is important, and if that means we have to do a bunch of final moves to implement whatever we decide here, so be it (moves are cheap too). UnitedStatesian (talk) 17:19, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Do what we do with books, otherwise we are introducing an gross inconsistency for no reason at all. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan should be at Borat (film). And whoever said it's permissible to make redirects from the full title to the practical article name should have said "necessary", since someone somewhere will try to find it that way. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 23:48, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

"Official Names"

Is there currently a convention that exists anywhere for "official names"? For example, this revision to Conservative Party (UK), admittedly by me, has the official name (Conservative and Unionist Party) at the beginning of the lead, whereas another article Penalty shootout (association football) currently has the "popular" name first (i.e. penalty shootout). Admittedly this is in the lead rather than article names; however, I wondered if there was a convention as to when an article's name (per the naming conventions) is different to the "official name" and where therefore the "official name" appears (as it should) in the lead which should come first?

I know it's not a major issue but I've been through a few articles and it looks a bit of a mess when there are varying different styles used. BigHairRef | Talk 03:42, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

On biographies, WP:MOSBIO is clear:
"While the article title should generally be the name by which the subject is most commonly known, the subject's full name should be given in the lead paragraph, if known. Many cultures have a tradition of not using the full name of a person in everyday reference, but the article should start with the complete version. For example:
  • (from Fidel Castro): Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (born 13 August 1926) …
It goes on to an illustration where the official name has changed:
In some cases, subjects have legally changed their names at some point after birth. In these cases the birth name should be given as well:
  • (from Bill Clinton): William Jefferson Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III on 19 August 1946)
PamD (talk) 06:38, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
I was aware of the naming conventions for people and organisations, it was more as to the order in which they should come up in the lead. As I said it's not a mojor issue it would just be something useful in terms of style if all were to follow the same conventions, i.e. assuming the article's title was not the official name of an organisation, process, thing or person then which order should the official name then the common name follow in the lead as in the two examples given. BigHairRef | Talk 09:52, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
We often start with bolding the official name; but it'a a matter of taste, depending on euphony and exactly how uncommon the official name is; Cher seems to work well as it stands, the other way. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:32, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
This is just another application of the "use the common English-language name" maxim. If the official name (Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations) is not the most-recognized name, then mention it in the article, but name the article by the most-recognized name (Rhode Island). — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 23:44, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Sugarland (duo) vs. Sugarland (band)

A while back, I moved the page to Sugarland (duo), based on the fact that a duo is not a band. This move went uncontested for months until User:Ericorbit moved it back citing naming conventions. I don't see anywhere in naming conventions that says that a musical group's page has to end in (band) if needed — two members do not a band make. Ten Pound Hammer and his otters • (Broken clamshellsOtter chirpsHELP) 16:58, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

I based my decision on the massive sweep done months (years?) ago which made just about all musical acts with more than one person needing disambiguation to "(band)". I know that when I first started editing in WP there were many pages with all types of descriptors: "(group)" or "(girl group)" or "(dance music act)", etc. I assumed (I suppose incorrectly) that there was something concrete written about musical acts being labeled "(band)" in order to keep things uniform. One example I gave to TPH was TLC (band) — hardly a "band" per se, but that particular disambiguation description keeps it in conformity to other musical-artist-related articles. I find a bit of a flaw with the line of thinking that a "duo" is not a "band". I believe a band can most certainly have as little as two people. For example, if someone wrote a best selling novel titled The White Stripes, I would expect the disambiguation of the music article to be "The White Stripes (band)", not "The White Stripes (duo)". Anyone else have thoughts on the matter or have TPH and I missed a prior conversation about this issue? - eo (talk) 12:07, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
I have never seen a duo referred to as a band. Not Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry, Sugarland, not The Judds. Ten Pound Hammer and his otters • (Broken clamshellsOtter chirpsHELP) 01:23, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree that "band" sounds like more than two (in a way that "group" doesn't). The relevant section of WP:NAME, Wikipedia:Naming_conventions#Album_and_song_titles_and_band_names, says "When necessary, disambiguation should be done using (band), (album), or (song) (such as Anthrax (band) or Insomniac (album))" but goes on to say "When a track is not strictly a song (in other words a composition without lyrics, or an instrumental that is not a cover of a song), disambiguation should be done using (composition) or (instrumental).". Using "(duo)" could be seen to be an extension of that logic; perhaps there needs to be a discussion about that exact point (are you happy for a trio to be a "band"?). It's important that there's a redirect from the "(band)" version. Slight complication ... I see it was a trio until 2006! Might be best to just relax and leave it at "band", with a redirect from duo, accepting "band" as a wikipedia technical term which has a specific sense of "more than one person doing music together"? PamD (talk) 07:50, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Agree with PamD that "duo" would technically make more sense, but has some practical problems. I would say we should amend the quoted section to also mention that "duo" can be used for the same reasons as "composition" or "instrumental", while in this particular case it has to be band, because it was once a three-piece, and the article is not limited to their period as a duo. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 23:41, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Redesign of this page

This page is getting very long and unreadable. Since each section has its own page where the guideline is written in details and editors usually refer to, I don't think that the summaries in this page are really useful or representative of the guideline. Did someone think about collapsing the whole page, leaving only a short one-sentence description for each specific NC? (Wikipedia:Quick directory is close to what I have in mind). 18:05, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

I am not sure that this is a good idea. This page is policy and as such the other pages, as guidelines, ought to describe in detail what is said on this page. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 18:40, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but every section links to a more detailed page, and some sections doesn't even have a summary which makes the page very messy. Eklipse (talk) 18:49, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
Philip is correct on this one; the problem to be fixed is to provide the missing summaries, not delete or near-delete the rest of them! — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:48, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Hyphen, en dash, colon...?

At the Wikipedia: WikiProject Olympics, there is a doubt on which way we should name articles about Olympic events that are part of a specific sport. For every Olympic sport (e.g. athletics, basketball, judo, etc.) there is a main-level page which is standardly named <Sport> at the <Year> <Season> Olympics (e.g. Swimming at the 2004 Summer Olympics). Then, we have articles for each medal-awarding event that is related to a specific Olympic sport, and these pages were named <Sport> at the <Year> <Season> Olympics - <Gender> <event> (e.g. Swimming at the 2004 Summer Olympics - Women's 200 metre backstroke).

We didn't pay attention to this detail until know and although we searched the MoS to answer our question, we haven't found a clear guideline. The issue is: what kind of character should we use for the event page titles, where we want to link the event name with the parent sport? We've always used an hyphen, but as per WP:DASH, they don't serve that purpose; we've thought about replacing them with unspaced en-dashes, but the guideline concerning use of "En dashes in page names" doesn't mention the case where a hyphen was used as a linker. The closest thing found here, where a colon is recommended, but I don't think these articles are considered long lists.

What do you recommend? Parutakupiu (talk) 18:54, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

My recommendation is to use spaced en dashes. The MoS may not be clear about this specific case, but
  1. hyphens should not be used in this fashion and I have yet to hear of any appropriate usage of em dashes in titles; and
  2. WP:DASH says that spaced en dashes are used in lists to separate points; if you put all these article titles together, they do make such a list.
This is to use the wording closest to the occasion, but it really is the only plausible option anyway—the colon one is irrelevant, as these articles are indeed not components of long alphabetical lists.
I therefore suggest using titles like Swimming at the 2004 Summer Olympics – Women's 200 metre backstroke. There should also be a hyphenated version for each article, so that readers typing the hyphen in the title will be redirected to the correct page. As most (or all?) articles are in the version with the hyphen, the moves will create the redirects, so as far as this side of the issue is concerned, you probably only have to worry about future cases.
Thank you for using the Wikipedia Help System. Waltham, The Duke of 21:32, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Concur on the general principle (en-dashes when used should have hyphen redirs to en-dash articles), but have to observe that these names are excessively longwinded, and don't follow WP:NCLL, which calls for a colon as the preferred separator. Women's 200 metre backstroke at the 2004 Summer Olympics or 2004 Summer Olympics: Women's 200 metre backstroke would probably be better, assuming that this level of micro-topicality is really needed, an assumption I'm highly skeptical of. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:39, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Good to know that your recommendation goes in favor of the general consensus back at the WikiProject. We've had a user who offered to write a bot that will replace all the hundreds of pages that display such title structure. Its approval is still pending, so once it's approved and the 2008 Olympics (and with it the edit-frenzy on Olympics-related articles), massive moves will be made, with the hyphen-containing pages becoming redirects as you recommend.
Thank you! Parutakupiu (talk) 22:01, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
I note that Wikipedia:Naming conventions (long lists) (which is the closest MOS article I could find that might apply to our scheme for WP:Summary style on Olympic articles) makes no mention of en dashes and explicitely calls out a hyphen as an acceptable alternative to the preferred colon. It ought to be updated, I guess, if this is the new consensus. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 00:01, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
I note, in response, that WP:NCLL was a real mess, and has since been overhauled, including on this point, to better agree with MOS as a whole. NCLL does prefer a colon. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:39, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
MoS is pretty clear in preferring a spaced en dash. It looks much better and is more easily recognisable than a hyphen. On a computer monitor, many browsers and fonts render hyphens rather ungenerously (is it a fly spot?). Tony (talk) 00:28, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Right. However, any em-dashed article name should also have a hyphen version existing as a redirect to it, because the average reader doesn't know the difference, not being a pack of style guide nerds, and will type the hyphen when searching or when guessing at an article name in their URL bar. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 09:07, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
As I was watching some running just now, I noticed that spaced en dashes are used in the score cards for phrases like Result – Semifinal 1. I couldn't find any hyphens to make a comparison, but I'm certain that I saw en dashes. Clearly, this example should be followed. ;-)
And yes, I agree that the page needs to be updated. Waltham, The Duke of 11:38, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Which is to say, Tony and a handful of others dislike hyphens and have revert-warred against them. As often, do what seems best, after seeing what your sources do. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:35, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Not worth replying to. Tony (talk) 05:23, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
I'd say it is, simply by reversing it and adding clarification: Which is to say PMAnderson/Septentrionalis and a handful of others dislike en-dashes and em-dashes, no matter what non-WP style guidelines with incredible amounts of buy-in from professional writers and editors say, and have revert-warred against them. As often, do what seems best, after seeing what reliable sources on English language prose style do. I.e., use hyphens, en-dashes, em-dashes and minus signs where appropriate for the function of the particular "dash" character, rather than always using a hyphen because it is conveniently located on your keyboard. This is not some chintzy blog or chat forum. We have standards to live up to. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 09:07, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Page name grammar

I notice that a lot of categories get renamed from "fooian foos" to "foos in/from foo" (i.e., an adjective gets replaced with a preposition and noun). Is there an equivalent practice/guideline for naming articles? The reason I ask is that I've proposed renaming List of musical intervals to List of intervals in music. Thanks! SharkD (talk) 18:04, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

As a general principle, I think this is a good idea, and is clearly reflected in majority practice (i.e., it really is a guideline, that just hasn't been written down yet). There are numerous cases in which exceptions are warrented, however. See also the #Naming conventions for lists thread below, which is directly relevant. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:31, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Radio station article naming conventions

Resolved: Just an FYI about an uncontroversial edit.

I've added Australia in with Central and South America as one of the places where a mix of call signs and station names are used with respect to radio stations. This is for clarity, because it is already the existing practice to name Australian radio station articles in line with the station's name unless their call-sign is particularly well-known (like in the case of 2UE or 4MMM). Australian stations have no requirement to identify themselves on-air by their call-sign, so in many cases, particularly in FM radio, the call-sign is completely unknown to the listening audience. - Mark 07:43, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Sounds like a reasonable clarification to me. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:28, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Countries take precedence

I would like to propose the notion that countries/nations should take precedence over any sub-national regions or cities in naming of articles. This may seem like a screaming obviousity but there are possible conflicts that can arise out of lack of having this policy, eg. the current debate at Talk:Georgia. The current vote has taken up 97kb so far, and that is not counting the five previous debates on exactly the same issue. Since the debate is currently lingering on the notion that there is a lack of a specific policy which would make Georgia (country) the primary article over Georgia (US state), I thought I would ask and get the general feeling around introducing such a policy to the naming conventions. Such a policy would not only exist for the case of Georgia, but would apply to any possible future conflicts over possible new (or old) nations. Before you reply, I would like to note such a rule would not affect the current status of Macedonia, which exists as a disambiguation page because of long-standing stable consensus over a real-life naming dispute (in contrast with the entirely Wikipedia-specific dispute over Georgia). So, what are your thoughts and ideas on such a convention? +Hexagon1 (t) 05:42, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Seems sensible to me. Sardanaphalus (talk) 18:10, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I cannot civilly express how much I detest this proposal. English calls two entities Georgia, and our readers will want to know about both of them. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:10, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
  • No strong feelings. If I type in Georgia, I don't mind which I get, as long as, if it's an entry and not a disambiguation, there's a For other uses link at the top. (I haven't looked at the Talk:Georgia discussion) Mcewan (talk) 20:48, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I think if the nation is the primary topic for its name, it should be at the base name. If a sub-national geographic entity or even a non-geographic entity is the primary topic for a name that it shares with a nation, the nation should not be at the base name. I see no reason to implement a special subclause on WP:PRIMARYTOPIC for nations or states. -- JHunterJ (talk) 22:53, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Of course we should prioritise independent and recognised states (this should not apply to the Greek region Macedonia, the region takes presedence over a non-recognised state name). And when I say recognised, I mean recognised by the United Nations. We should use the names used by the UN. NerdyNSK (talk) 23:59, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
  • See also Aragon and Chitral for other examples of countries (Kingdom of Aragon, Chitral (princely state)) that do not get the base name, but rather the base name goes to a subdivision. There will be others, and the country should not be default (or by policy) get the base name. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:31, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
  • No, there is no reason to prioritize countries where there is clear evidence that the common usage of the term is divided. olderwiser 12:08, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Sensible to me. Priority to free independent recognized states. Vvolodymyr (talk) 09:46, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Concur with Bkonrad, JHunterJ, PMAnderson, Mcewan. I.e. not Hexagon1's proposal. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:27, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Naming convention for country names

This has probably come up previously, but shouldn't WP have a naming convention for country names? The ongoing messy and embarrassing series of arguments over naming Burma vs. Myanmar prompted me to ask this. Is that ongoing embarrassment the reason that there is no naming convention, or is the fact that there is no naming convention the reason for the ongoing embarrassment? -- Boracay Bill (talk) 01:50, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

It does appear there should be a specific policy addressing the issues facing country naming on Wikipedia, I agree. Talk:Burma/Myanmar (a page devoted solely to the discussion of where the article should be placed) alone is 368kb already, that's ridiculous. Such a policy would also help clarify issues such as the one I discussed in the heading right above this one, about Georgia. +Hexagon1 (t) 02:48, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
And Chinese Taipei. Heh. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:24, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
  • We must use the names as recognised by the United Nations. For example, we should say FYROM and not what we say now, because that's what the UN uses. All of our articles should follow UN usage, and if the current policy (common names etc) is not compatible with it then it should be made to be. NerdyNSK (talk) 23:53, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
    • No, we should not. We do not use WP:Official names; we are writing in colloquial English. (In the case of the Republic of Macedonia, official usage is of course divided, as well.) We do have a policy on this; it's called WP:SOAPBOX. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 14:23, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
  • We should have a clear convention. On one side a strong rule can be oppressive, on the other side lack of rules breed chaos, and in chaos - questionable structures usually grow. In my strong opinion - the preference should be given to self-determination. In other words if a country has named itself such - and announced to the world (through proper legal channels) this name (of course in English, since that's the language used for inter-country communications) - than that name should be give a preference over the habitual nickname. This i think reflects the free spirit of the free online encyclopedia (not to be confused with chaotic). Vvolodymyr (talk) 09:54, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Concur very strongly with PMAnderson. Otherwise we're going to have really pointless article names that most readers will be confused by. Try United States of Mexico and Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations and The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It's perfectly fine that redirects exist from these, and that these official names exist in the articles, but they totally suck as actual article titles. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:24, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Ukrainian names

By the way the change was just done by one administrator disregarding all ethics. Vvolodymyr (talk) 20:29, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Although the section on Ukrainian names starts mentioning "With the general naming conventions above in mind ", the fact that the core principle of "prefer[ing] what the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize" was not repeated afterwards when dealing with geographic names in Ukraine led to unnecessary confusion. This is an attempt to fix this "loophole".

The edit in question:

Original ambiguous text:

For geographic names in Ukraine, the Ukrainian National system is used. For historic reasons, many names are also presented in Russian, Polish, etc.

In green, the clarification added by PMAnderson & slightly amended by Erachima:

For geographic names in Ukraine, the Ukrainian National system is used when no common English name exists; see further Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names). For historic reasons many names are also presented in Russian, Polish, etc.

Can we get a clear consensus for this edit ? - Regards, Ev (talk) 22:33, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

  • I support the change, it's a trivial and obvious clarification that prevents potential Wikilawyering and confusion. Based on the edit summaries of User:Vvolodymyr above, I'd assume it's currently causing actual Wikilawying or confusion as well, though I haven't investigated myself. --erachima talk 22:37, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
Actual confusion currently taking place at Talk:Kiev/naming#Request to move to official name :-) Regards, Ev (talk) 22:42, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

This seems an obvious clarification. olderwiser 12:33, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Concur. If necessary, #Ukrainian should be edited to remove "official names", if this clarification is inadequate. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:23, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the clarification. I don't see any evidence that it is actually causing confusion or wikilawyering; rather I see a bunch of editwarring flamers who cannot get over the issue they've become entrenched in, using anything they can to bash the other side and keep the fire going. It really doesn't matter what any guideline says, they'll find some way to screw it up because they are not seeing the forest for the trees and too heavily invested to just STFU and calm down. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:14, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Actually, it shouldn't even be about the Ukraine at all, but just a general statement about all placenames. The main article on Rome should be Rome not Roma, etc. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:16, 28 September 2008 (UTC)


1) "conventional english name" is vague 2) such act could potentially deny the usage of announced self-determined name.

If someone announces the name to you - you could 1) ignore it and use a nickname that somebody else made up. 2) respect the right of the party to name itself.

What are you going to do in real life? Tell me to my face that you will calling something else regardless of what I already announced to you? In my face? Because you're used to calling me something else?

That is wrong on so many levels. Vvolodymyr (talk) 09:42, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

The above is so off-base on so many levels. "Conventional English name" is not vague, except in the rare cases of ongoing transition (like "Beijing" about 20 years ago; most English speakers were still calling it "Peking" and weren't immediately sure where "Beijing" was; we're not confused about that any longer). Kiev is not undergoing such a transition to Kyiv in general English usage, no matter how much you wished it were. Contrast "Belarus", which has transitioned out of "Byelorussia" or "Belorussia" in my lifetime, just as Beijing/Peking has. And compare "Burma". Almost all English speakers still know it as "Burma", and have no idea where "Mynamar" is or what it is, no matter how much the Myanmar regime wish this were not the case, and even fund "Visit Myanmar" tourism advertisements.
Using the conventional English name does nothing whatsoever to "deny the usage of announced self-determined name", since the article in question would naturally have that right up at the top as well.
Kiev, like Vienna, Prague, Rome, etc., is not "a nickname that somebody else made up", it's the name of a place in a particular language other than that of the natives of that place, just as Inglaterra is the name of England in Spanish. The name of the Spanish Wikipedia article on England is, naturally, es:Inglaterra.
This has nothing to do with "respect[ing] the right of the party to name itself", since their own name would be given in the article as well.
This has nothing to do with anyone doing anything in anyone's face, since this is a website not a face-to-face conversation.
SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:10, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Revert by Stifle

Stifle, regarding your revert of the edits in question, using the edit summary "rv to before this started; it's poor form to modify a guideline so that it suits you in a dispute. Mark the section as contradictory, then discuss. See WP:BRD." :

First of all, in his edit PMAnderson did not modify the naming conventions, but limited himself to clarify the language to avoid possible misunderstandings. He did not change the meaning of the guideline, but merely clarified a sentence that could be misinterpreted by those who read it in isolation, without properly placing it in the wider context of the general naming conventions and the specific clarifications explained in other guidelines (see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names)). — It's the difference between adding or removing mere text and adding or removing actual substance. — His edit was valid, and in my view necessary. — See above for further detail.

Second, the section is not contradictory, but merely potentially confusing for those reading its sentences in isolation. It's the act of marking it as contradictory that would constitute a proposal to modify the naming conventions, to change their meaning, their substance. — Again, see above for further detail.

Lastly, but most importantly, PMAnderson did most definitively not "modify a guideline so that it suits [him] in a dispute." That is a gross assumption of bad faith, and directed at an editor whose constant participation in the drafting of our naming conventions should shield him from such absurd accusations. — Please, at the very least do a null edit to the naming conventions adding an edit summary retracting this accusation, for clarity. - Ev (talk) 14:48, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

WP:NC, which said that the Ukrainian national system should be used, had a different guideline from WP:NCGN on Ukrainian names, which says "When a widely accepted English name, in a modern context, exists for a place, we should use it". That meant that the two guidelines contradicted each other. As far as I can see, neither one should officially take precedence over the other
As far as I can see, the change was made in the context of a discussion at Talk:Kiev/naming, where PMAnderson supports the use of the name "Kiev", while Vvolodymyr supports "Kyiv". As such, PMAnderson's edit to this policy was an edit modifying a policy, and the new version does support his position in the dispute. It may well be what the consensus supports, I don't think it was done in bad faith, and under most circumstances it wouldn't be controversial. However, it's no different than if I modified WP:CSD to allow images larger than 2MB to be speedied, and proceeded to delete a couple dozen of them. As such I decline to retract the statement in my edit summary at this time.
For the record, I came to this dispute after Vvolodymyr twice reported PMAnderson's edit to the guideline at WP:AIV. I removed it as not appropriate each time, and Vvolodymyr requested my help on my talk (which conversation you can see). I have no opinion on the dispute itself. Stifle (talk) 15:07, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Oh, dear God! Stilfe, you're providing a textbook example of why this simple clarificatory edit is badly needed given the current state of Wikipedia: you're reading that single sentence in splendid isolation, without considering it in the light of either the general naming conventions or common Wikipedia practices. You're reading the letter of a single isolated sentence, oblivious of the spirit, intention or basic common sense behind our general policies & guidelines. You're placing a single isolated sentence at the same level of the naming convention's core principle. — And this despite the section on Ukrainian names clearly putting things in perspective by stating "With the general naming conventions above in mind[...] ".
Of course, the end result of this mentality is a more clogged Wikipedia in which wikilawyerish innuendo based on isolated portions of text and a moronically bureaucratic approach to every single process gets in the way of the site's true purpose & original objective, with the consequent waste of everyone's time, energy & good will.
Amid such amazing lack of understanding and common sense, I will attribute your statement to a simple impaired comprehension ability, and let it be.</rant> - Ev (talk) 16:03, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps less controversially, I did not appeal to the changed guideline. I assert, instead, that the state of Talk:Kiev/naming is good evidence that the consensus of Wikipedians is indeed that Ukrainian National spelling should not be applied to the capital city until English as a whole accepts it (which may take a while; we're still using Prague.)
Vvolodymyr would draw the opposite conclusion from the old language, which was silent on the matter. This inference is rejected by consensus, and it is contrary to the general section Wikipedia:Naming_conventions#Use_the_most_easily_recognized_name. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:02, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

This policy is one of the oldest on Wikipedia and has always had a clear that common English names are to be used (see 03:48, 24 November 2001.) Additions to this policy over the years have refined this, but have not not deviated from that premise. That there is a dispute over the addition of a phrase to clarify this in the Ukrainian names section is proof that it is needed for that section. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 22:29, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Have to concur with PMAnderson. Until Kyiv is as accepted in English over Kiev as Beijing and Mumbai have become over Peking and Bombay respectively, we should stick with Kiev, and note that Kyiv is how those in Kiev/Kyiv would transliterate it into our alphabet.
PS: PMAnderson being active in NC/MOS space does not magically shield him from criticism of his actions or suspicion about his motives. Some editors consider him outright disruptive at times, and pushing personal agendas. The exact same thing can be said of me, Tony1, Francis Schonken, Noetica, and all the rest of the MOS/NC regulars; it is impossible to keep everyone happy all the time, and we all have our editing questioned, sometimes by cluebags and sometimes by people with legitimate issues to raise, and we provide responses. No one need leap to our defense, especially on the basis that we are somehow unassailable.
PPS: Ev, calling other editors stupid (no matter how longwindedly you word it) constitutes personal attacks and can get you blocked.
PPPS: Everyone doing so, please stop referring to NC (and MOS, etc.) as policies; they are guidelines. The frequent hyperbolic panic over someone "daring" to modify policy is getting very frakking tiresome.
SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 21:58, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Actually, NC is policy. I'm not sure why; presumably the basic naming conventions, and the summary sentences here, are strong consensus. But if so, we should move most of the Ukrainian stuff, and other large sections, out of here into subpages. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:42, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
NC needs to be policy because otherwise the administrators over at WP:RM would be faced with the situation where a controversial requested move that had a local consensus to move to a name that contravenes this page, could not be vetoed (or at least not without a cat fight) as WP:CONSENSUS is a policy. --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 04:13, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I should have said that while WP:NC itself is policy, WP:NC*, like WP:MOS and WP:MOS* are just guidelines. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 12:02, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Naming conventions for lists

About a month ago it was raised at WT:FLC#Laziness/repetition_in_names that the titles of list pages were all over the place. FLC has had nominations from Nashville Sounds seasons, List of The Neptunes awards, List of Denver Nuggets head coaches, List of Governors of Alaska, and List of Liverpool F.C. statistics and records. The question asked was shouldn't the titles be List of seasons of the Nashville Sounds, List of awards and nominations received by The Neptunes, List of head coaches of the Denver Nuggets, etc, with the reasoning that pages should be titled "List of x of y", instead of "List of y's xes" or, even worse, simply "y's xes". I've looked at Wikipedia:Lists (stand-alone lists)#Naming conventions and Wikipedia:Naming conventions (long lists) but they don't seem to address the problem. What is the correct way to title these pages? Thanks, Matthewedwards (talk contribs  email) 21:53, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

I posted this here instead of at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (long lists) and Wikipedia talk:Lists (stand-alone lists), so as to not have two separate threads, and because this place probably gets more attention. I have left notes there pointing people to this discussion though. Matthewedwards (talk contribs  email) 21:59, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Yesm, just looking at the FL page and you'll see how many different title formats are used. In my opinion there should be some consistency through WP and a NC policy should be created similar to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (categories). Most of the pages dealing with lists are outdated and useless. Eklipse (talk) 21:57, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Since the people who work with cats have fairly consistent names for them, they'd be the people I'd go to first for help. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 00:16, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
It may or may not help, but see WP:NCC#Lists for one WikiProject's solution.
And yes, list names have little standard usage, as bold creators typically don't check guidelines (even if they existed) for how such lists should be named.
Some fairly common formats are:
  • List of <noun phrase> - List of cars
  • List of <noun phrase> <prepositional phrase> - List of cars on the highway
  • List of <noun phrase> who/which/that <verb phrase> - List of cars that fly
  • List of <noun phrase> who/which/that <verb phrase> <noun phrase> - List of cars that are green
  • List of <noun phrase> who/which/that <verb phrase> <prepositional phrase> - List of cars that fly in the rain
(A common addition is an adverb - List of cars that fly very fast - List of cars that fly only in the rain.)
Needless to say, these list examples would rather likely be deleted : )
I hope this helps. - jc37 08:02, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Also don't forget that many lists don't even have the list term in their title (Regions of Peru), and lists that begin with Timeline, Table. Yes, it's quite a mess. Eklipse (talk) 15:11, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
A bunch of comments:
  1. I don't see any rationale for adding "list of" to the front of names of article that really can't be anything but lists, especially if they have been or could be expanded to not be simple lists, but blocks of paragraphs (bulleted or otherwise) of at least summary information. Regions of Peru and Nashville Sounds seasons seem like good examples. I'm not saying there cannot be a rationale, only that one hasn't been provided.
  2. "List of x of y" is a good default (and is the default, as can be seen by simple observation of extant list articles), but insisting upon it without exception seems extreme. There "should be some consistency", yes, but not necessarily uniformity. "One size does not fit all" is a common MOS/NC mantra, and even applies in many cases to categories, which have the strictest naming conventions on WP.
  3. It is especially clear that "List of x by y" is a common (and arguably needed) variant (a "List of songs by Van Halen" for example would not be the same as a "List of songs of Van Halen", because the band has done cover versions of some song, so these are not songs "of" them but "of" the original artist or "of" the songwriter, depending upon intrepretation.
  4. Categories are not a particularly good comparison, as their needs are specialized and frankly the number of people devoted to bickering over categorization nitpicks is rather large, requiring an ever more detailed category naming convention to keep the fighting down to a manageable level.
  5. I would say the same about mandatorily using the longest possible form of the title, e.g. List of head coaches of the Denver Nuggets vs. List of Denver Nuggets head coaches. The longer form is clearly preferable in some cases (List of Governors of Alaska works well, and List of The Neptunes awards certainly does not), but doesn't work so well in other cases like the head coaches example, which just comes off as longwindedness.
  6. The fact that we have various means of being more specific (List of noun phrase who/which/that verb phrase prepositional phrase, and so on) isn't troubling to me. It simply indicates that we're flexible enough to make list names make sense.
  7. There's nothing wrong with specialized lists beginning with different labels, such as "Glossary of", "Timeline of" or "Table of", as long as the descriptors actually match the contents. Being specific like this helpful to readers. Up to a point – we don't need people busting their brains trying to think up new ones just to avoid using "List of".
  8. WP:NCC#Lists seems to me to be a rather misguided approach, as it is not sustainable (articles will have to be continuously renamed and/or characters moved from one list to another, e.g. every time a formerly comic-book-only character newly appears in a cartoon or movie, and so on.
  9. Versions of names without the "List of" (etc.) should be redirects to the version with it, e.g. Baseball terms as a redir to Glossary of baseball terms, because the versions sans "List of" are at least fairly likely targets of URL guessing. I.e., think of the reader first.
  10. Versions of names that do not quite follow the "List of x of y default, e.g., List of Denver Nuggets head coaches, should have redirs to them from the longwinded form (List of head coaches of the Denver Nuggets), because some readers will become aware of the default preference and expect it.
  11. Versions of names that are likely guesses that readers will make should also redirect to the real list article name: List of Alaska GovernorsList of Governors of Alaska
  12. Versions of names in which readers may be uncertain of the capitalization should also redir to the real thing: List of Alaska governors and List of governors of AlaskaList of Governors of Alaska
  13. I agree that "List of x's y" is generally too sloppy, and that the version without the "'s" will be usually (cf. the awards case; that phrase is so ambiguous I thought that "The Neptunes" were the awards!), but not always (cf. the head coaches example).

SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 21:36, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Excellent points throughout. I'd be happy to shift this onto NCLL right now (obviously reworded from discussion-style to guideline-style. There is one other I'd like to add. Rachel Stevens discography, Nirvana discography et al should probably be Discography of Rachel Stevens and Discography of Nirvana, et al. I'll raise this point at WP:DISCOG and ask for their thoughts. Matthewedwards (talk contribs  email) 05:11, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Related materials

Resolved: Just some pointers.

See also the #Page name grammar thread above, which is directly relevant. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:32, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

See also Wikipedia:Naming conventions (long lists)#Basic naming which advises on (some) cases where "List of" is not preferred. This was a clarification I added a week or two ago, based on observation of actual practice, and it has remained stable. WP:NCLL maybe should simply be made into WP:NCL, Wikipedia:Naming conventions (lists), with some points from WP:SAL, a style guideline, merged into it where they are actually about naming not about list style. I will propose that over at WT:NCLL. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:52, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Proposed move and merge

Resolved: Just a pointer to another discussion; merge proposal discussions are centralized at merge target's talk page.

I propose moving Wikipedia:Naming conventions (long lists), WP:NCLL, to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (lists), WP:NCLIST, and merging in the naming-related material from WP:SAL, since that is a style guideline. There is already a section at WP:NCLL on lists in general, so that is where this material would go. WP:NCLL and its longer name would redirect to the new name. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:55, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree with that. It's time we gather and centralize all guidelines regarding lists into one page, or at most two pages (one dealing with naming convention, and one dealing with content and layout). Eklipse (talk) 11:03, 30 September 2008 (UTC)


Please do not use the {{Resolved}} template on this talk page , as nothing is ever resolved. There is either a current consensus to do something or there is not and that may change at an time. Editors are able to read the section and make up their own minds if the issue is resolved, (they do not need a template with a large tick in it to tell them if it is) and if they do not think it is resolved, they are free to add a comment at the end of a section without having to edit another editor's edit by removing the {{Resolved}} template --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 13:18, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

POV vs common usage

This question is mainly due to the very long discussion about naming over at Talk:2008 South Ossetia war. The discussion there has been inconclusive, mainly due to one fact: There is a title that is clearly the most common used one, but it is also claimed to be POV. Set aside for a second the special case and asume that title would indeed be POV and there exists another one, NPOV but rarely used. So the question is:

If the most commonly used English name for an article is POV, because the English speaking media as a whole is not neutral, and there exists a NPOV title that is not commonly used, which title should be used: The uncommon NPOV or the common POV one? --Xeeron (talk) 19:20, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

NPOV and accurate would seem to be the best choice. Vegaswikian (talk) 19:41, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
In terms of naming "accurate" is almost the same as "good", so that renders the question a bit irrelevant. Assume that none of the 2 titles is a particularly accurate summary of the article. --Xeeron (talk) 14:41, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Used WikiCleaner, please do not revert

Used WikiCleaner software to repair disambiguation links. Please do not revert back to the old links, see: Wikipedia:Disambiguation pages with links/Maintenance for more info. See also: Template:Main/doc for explanation to why the summary style was updated, as the format previously used was incorrect. From MOS/Context: Do not use a piped link to avoid otherwise legitimate redirect targets that fit well within the scope of the text. This assists in determining when a significant number of references to redirected links warrant more detailed articles. Funandtrvl (talk) 15:11, 7 October 2008 (UTC) Sections from "Name construction" on down still need to be updated. See the main MOS page for how to use the summary style. Also, the "Russian" and "Korean" sections, etc., should be combined with country-specific info or under the "people" section. Funandtrvl (talk) 15:17, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Propose removing or seriously weakening "Use standard English for titles even if trademarks encourage otherwise"

This simply doesn't happen when editors decide it is over-ridden by other considerations, e.g. the cases of OpenServing, ABN AMRO, ego trip's The (White) Rapper Show, PricewaterhouseCoopers etc. etc. Still, editors are using the fact of an article title following capitalization that happens to reflect a trademark to move articles, leading to unnecessary contention. This is an example of a guideline written essentially by very few people creeping into policy and then being used against local consensus with predictable results. (talk) 12:56, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

CamelCaps and initialisms are exceptions, per WP:MOS-TM, so the cases you're mentioning are not in violation of the rule. (Well, except that reality show, but its name is a fricking mess anyway and there's no practical way around it.) Did you read that page? --erachima talk 13:10, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
ABN AMRO isn't CamelCaps and neither strictly speaking is PricewaterhouseCoopers, and ego trip's The (White) Rapper Show as you say. I'm sure there are numerous other examples, so the point remains. I scanned that page; I don't particularly care for it. (talk) 19:06, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Having exceptions for CamelCase and article names like iPod rather undermines the whole endeavour in any case. (talk) 19:10, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
On what do you base "This is an example of a guideline written essentially by very few people creeping into policy" and by what do you mean "then being used against local consensus with predictable results"? What does "Having exceptions for CamelCase and article names like iPod rather undermines the whole endeavour in any case" mean? Thanks for the clarification. Alan smithee (talk) 21:44, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Not a lot of people wrote WP:MOS-TM, and fewer are invested in it. More people wrote, or edited in such a way as to have retained, any one of the titles already referred to above. WP:MOS-TM seems to be included in WP:NAME purely for completeness, just because it exists. WP:NAME details conventions, then goes further to call the TM convention a convention explicitly in a page about conventions, yet people are still going to articles and creating a problem where before none existed, because this part of WP:NAME exists, since WP:Name purports to be policy.
Any logic there can be behind enforcing a style on capitalization that follows a trademark seems to me to be undermined by the existence of somewhat broad but specifically outlined exceptions.
The talk page of MOS-TM is a good read, taking in things like ABN AMRO and iPod Shuffle and whatnot. Doesn't make a great deal of sense, and shouldn't be included here. (talk) 01:14, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
MoS-TM is a guideline, it just states a general rule, and is expected to have some exceptions. The basic point of the guideline, which is well-supported by consensus, is that we do not put arbitrary embellishments into page names. The exceptions are there because in some cases we have decided that the embellishments are not arbitrary but rather necessary to show the pronunciation of the word (e.g. "eBay" or "IBM"), and they do nothing to undermine the general principle. If you disagree with the application of the rule in a specific case, you should discuss it with other editors of that page. If you disagree with the principle, then you should discuss it with other editors on WT:MOS-TM. Either way, this is not the appropriate venue to challenge the guideline. --erachima talk 12:07, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Definitely. This isn't the right talk page. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 22:17, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Buh? This is the page that gives the guideline the force of policy. (talk) 21:35, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Discussion on naming - Crystal Palace transmitter or Crystal Palace transmitting station

A discussion has opened on the more appropriate naming of articles in Category:Transmitter sites in the United Kingdom. The discussion has been moved to Category talk:Transmitter sites in the United Kingdom. The essence of the discussion, is that:

The relevant wording of the advice from the Wikipedia:Naming conventions is:

Generally, article naming should prefer what the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature.

This is justified by the following principle:

The names of Wikipedia articles should be optimized for readers over editors, and for a general audience over specialists.

Wikipedia determines the recognizability of a name by seeing what verifiable reliable sources in English call the subject.

Reliable sources use both transmitter and transmitting station.

Input to the discussion is sought. SilkTork *YES! 16:43, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

All I can suggest is using whichever gets the most Google hits (not very scientific, I know), and create a redirect using the alternative. Matthewedwards (talk contribs  email) 06:00, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

naming convention question

Ragarding naming conventions as per WP:NAME,

Does prevalence of a name have higher priority than the official correct version of the name?

Example: Arkansas's state assembly has officially stated that "arkensaw" is the correct pronunciation, and specifically that the pronounciation "ar-kanzas" is incorrect. Now if someone made an article for Arkansas in some foreign wiki langauage, and literally named the article with the spelling that would give the pronunciation arkanzas (instead of the correct spelling that would give the pronunciation Arkensaw), citing prevalence as their reason, wouldnt they be incorrect? Does not being correct over-ride the prevalence criterion for naming convention?

Any takers?-- (talk) 20:39, 13 October 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

That would be something the other wiki would have to deal with. Is there an example you can offer on the English pedia? --Golbez (talk) 21:42, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't know about pronunciation but this debate occurs all the time over at WP:RM, either to do with new spellings, or should names have modified letters. The Naming conventions cover this in detail. Use the name and spelling as used in reliable English language sources. Some examples (not all of which follow the naming conventions): Zürich, Kiev, Renaming of cities in India, Côte d'Ivoire, Burma --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 10:09, 14 October 2008 (UTC)


Please see Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (common names)#Subpages --Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 10:37, 16 October 2008 (UTC)


See WP:Update for the September changes to all the Category:Wikipedia content policies pages (including this one) and also the most generally-used style guidelines (called, unsurprisingly, Category:General style guidelines). If anyone wants to take on the job of updating monthly content policy at WP:Update, please reply at WT:Update. Obviously, since this page is in WP-space, anyone can make any edit at any time, but regular updaters would be nice. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 18:53, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Weird Al?

Per Wikipedia:NAME#Album and song titles and band names, and looking at the history at Whatever You Like ("Weird Al" Yankovic song), where should that article be found? Have I misinterpreted something? — pd_THOR | =/\= | 06:17, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

If your point is that the thing we're disambiguating from is also a song, then I see what you're getting at. I do read that section, however, as "if there is any need to disambiguate a song, then use (song) plus any extra words as necessary". Also, on a more personal level, I prefer to have parenthetical disambiguation, when possible, a description of what the subject is; it's a "Weird Al" Yankovic song, but it's not a "Weird Al" Yankovic. There are lots of exceptions to that out there, though. -- Jao (talk) 14:48, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Mentioning "Wikipedia:Articles with slashes in title"

I propose that the project page have a linked mention of Wikipedia:Articles with slashes in title, with some kind of wording to advise editors to avoid creating new pages with slashes in their titles, except where they meet the same criteria that are already met by the ones listed on that page.

-- Wavelength (talk) 04:40, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Ancient Egyptian names

Why isn't Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Ancient Egyptian) listed on the article page? Thanks. Doug Weller (talk) 12:23, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Ancient Egyptian) certainly should be! It's never been raised in the appropriate discussion forums, apparently. See Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Ancient Egyptian), and/or we can discuss it here. But I think The Pump is the place. Andrewa (talk) 13:54, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Why The Pump and not here? Doug Weller (talk) 14:38, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
Either would do. I think we need to to post both eventually if this guideline is to become official. And it's been semi-official for a year now, so it's probably time it was decided.
And it's best to centralise discussion at one place IMO. But people don't always follow my advice. If for example we get a consensus here and no comments at The Pump (which has been known to happen) then no problem. Andrewa (talk) 19:47, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
And we have no response at all yet at The Pump. Patience...! Andrewa (talk) 19:07, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Ah, we do now. Whew... Andrewa (talk) 12:08, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

"Charlie" Gasparino

The article on the CNBC journalist goes by his nickname "Charlie." Shouldn't it be "Charles" and, if so, how does one fix? Thanks, --JohnnyB256 (talk) 15:09, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Not necessarily. I'll answer at Talk:Charlie Gasparino. --Serge (talk) 15:25, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks very much, Serge. I've responded there. Thanks for the link to the more applicable naming page.--JohnnyB256 (talk) 15:36, 25 October 2008 (UTC)


I can't find any SOP for dissuading the preemptive disambiguation for titles, although I could swear we had one. Can anybody help me out here? — pd_THOR | =/\= | 21:23, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Weird, I don't find it either (but of course, WP:PRIMARYTOPIC and WP:NC(CN) both point in that direction). There are some cases where specific naming guidelines actually mandate preemptive disambiguation for consistency reasons, such as Kennebunkport, Maine (as opposed to which Kennebunkport?) and Gustav III of Sweden (as opposed to Gustav III of what?), in which cases the "ambiguous" names redirect to the preemptively disambiguated ones. But I've always assumed these to be exceptions, and would have expected to find the general rule explicitly stated here. -- Jao (talk) 23:40, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
It's probably incorrect to describe naming conventions as "preemptive disambiguation". In most cases they are simply guidelines for determining the proper name for a topic. Just because there is only one "Obama" doesn't mean that calling the article "Barack Obama" is preemptive disambiguation. Likewise for "Toyota Prius", etc. Naming conventions help ensure that article appear with logical, appropriate, and consistent names rather than whatever appears at the top of the Ghits pile on a particular day. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 23:48, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
It depends on the naming convention and the context. In your example, whether the article is at Obama or Barack Obama depends on what is the most common name used to refer to the topic, and that suggests Barack Obama. In many cases group-specific naming conventions are indeed "preemtive disambiguation" because they often require naming articles that conflict with the most common name used to refer to the subject of the article in question. In that case preemptive disambiguation only succeeds in ensuring articles are named after some arbitrary standard for some niche within Wikipedia, rather than consistent with the rest of Wikipedia (according to the most common used for the subject in question). And characterizing the most common name as "whatever appears at the top of the Ghits pile on a particular day" is not fair. Now, when the most common name is not clear, or it is ambiguous, then there is a need for naming convention. But not when the most common name is known and unavailable. --Serge (talk) 00:12, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I think you are correct. If you consider the naming convention to be part of the style sheet for the encyclopedia, the naming conventions then provide a consistent format for certain article types. This improves the look and quality of the encyclopedia and makes it look professional with a specific structure and not article names that appear to be random creations. One example is US radio stations where there name can be WWXX, WWXX-FM or WWXX (FM) depending on what is in the FCC data base and the need for disambiguation. Style considerations are not pre disambiguation. Vegaswikian (talk) 22:38, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Specifically I'm referring to TV episodes; the House WikiProject is moving the House episodes to titles all disambiguated with "(House)" regardless of the need. For example, the episode "Not Cancer" is actually located at Not Cancer (House) with the former being a redirect, despite nothing else corresponding with "Not Cancer" from which to disambiguate.

I thought this was counter-... well, counter-what-you're-supposed-to-do, but couldn't find any corroboration. Hence, I'm here. — pd_THOR | =/\= | 02:21, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Well, we went through this with the Lost episode articles, and the people who wanted to predisambiguate lost. Thankfully, the naming guidelines for TV episodes are consistent with WP:UCN, and clearly state the following: "For an article created about a single episode, add the series name in parentheses only if there are other articles by the same name" --Serge (talk) 03:06, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

It happens with some rail stations and lines, like Lucien-L'Allier (AMT) (where there isn't even a redirect from the undisambiguated form). I raised it at [Trains WikiProject], but no-one replied. I should perhaps have raised it here instead! PamD (talk) 06:53, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Pam, your example, Blainville-Saint-Jérôme Line (AMT), with no redirect from Blainville-Saint-Jérôme Line, illustrates splendidly one problem (among many others) with naming conventions that predisambiguate. Articles are created in accordance with the predisambiguated name that conforms to the naming convention without taking care of the issues associated with the name that should be the title of the article (the name most commonly used to refer to the subject of the article). In this case the redirect at [[Commonname]] (i.e., Blainville-Saint-Jérôme Line) was not created. In another case there might be a dab page at [[Commonname]], but it's not updated with a reference to the article at the predisambiguated name. In yet another case another article might be at [[Commonname]] which should itself be moved to a disambiguated name to make room for a new dab page at [[Commonname]].
An example of the latter case is Plymouth. Because most U.S. cities are predisambiguated at [[Cityname, Statename]] and automobile brands are predisambiguated as [[Brandname (automobile)]] there appear to be no conflicts with Plymouth and so a small English city with that name is at Plymouth. I am trying to get that fixed at Talk:Plymouth (disambiguation), by the way (please contribute), but the real problem is all the predisambiguation that creates the environment in which stuff like your example and mine illustrate easily happens.
When editors create new articles that belong to a class of articles that are predisambiguated by convention, they are likely to simply and naturally create each article at [[Commonname (disambiguation qualifer)]] or [[Commonname, disambiguation qualifier]] (depending on how the class is disambiguated) and not even bother to deal with the Commonname issues. In fact, this is exactly why many editors prefer these predisambiguating conventions - they feel it makes their jobs easier. What most of them seem to not realize is that it makes it easier for them to fail at their jobs. In contrast, a class of articles in which the common name is used if possible, and the disambiguate form only used when required, the editor must always first check to see if [[Commonname]] is available, if it is another article (that possibly will need to be renamed, or have a hat note added to it, etc.), if it is a dab page, or what, and deal with it accordingly. In fact, I bet the guy who recently went through and disambiguated all the House episode articles hopes that new articles can simply be created as [[EpisodeName (House)]] without dealing with [[EpisodeName]] at all. I mean, maybe he'll check to see if it doesn't exist at all and create a redirect from [[EpisodeName]] to [[EpisodeName (House)]] (which the editor in your example failed to do), but odds are if [[EpisodeName]] already exists nothing else will be done (which the editors of the various Plymouth articles did - ignored Plymouth).
With respect to what's good and bad for Wikipedia, naming conventions that predisambiguate are evil. I hope enough editors realize this and take appropriate action, sooner rather than later. --Serge (talk) 07:33, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Evil? You're taking this way too seriously. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 07:48, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Not at all. I clearly specified the context: With respect to what's good and bad for Wikipedia. That is, to the extent that anything can be evil in Wikipedia, naming conventions that predisambiguate are evil. An analogous use of my intended meaning comes from an example from my dictionary: harmful or tending to harm: the evil effects of high taxes. --Serge (talk) 18:10, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Whether or not "predisambiguation is evil", I'm sure that "creating an article at "Foo (disamb)" or "Foo, placename" which is not linked from "Foo" should be strongly deprecated"! When stub-sorting, I tend to look for new stubs with a "(disamb)", and check to see that they're linked (by dab or hatnote) from the base heading - a worrying amount are not (until I fix them). That means that the reader typing "Foo" and clicking "Go" can't find them, and nor can the editor who's about to create a duplicate article at that title. PamD (talk) 11:56, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. My point is that the paradigm that goes with using and supporting predisambiguated naming conventions inherently ignores the common name issues, and thus exacerbates them. Please, go check out what's happening at Talk:Plymouth (disambiguation) right now. That is, even if the article you're creating or editing is in a class of names that are predisambiguated, you still have to determine the most common name for the subject of your article and make sure the subject of your article is appropriately managed through it. That's what gets overlooked and missed. That's why a relatively obscure (outside of the UK) city ends up being at Plymouth, and it's a huge effort to get it fixed, if it's possible at all. That's why predisambiguation is evil (in the sense that some believe taxes are evil). --Serge (talk) 18:10, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Calling the city "obscure (outside of the UK)" and this a situation that needs to be "fixed" is both unsubstantiated and makes this a non-neutral invitation to that debate. If you want to keep asking people here to participate, keep it completely neutral. Otherwise, please leave your comments for the correct venue where they are seen and scrutinised by all parties. Knepflerle (talk) 18:32, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
When a name is shared by an entity that is disambiguated (e.g., due to the predisambiguating naming convention of its class) with one in a class that does not predisambiguate, then the latter naturally and understandably tends to receive undue priority over the former. The examples of this are both subtle and countless, but the current debate at Talk:Plymouth (disambiguation) happens to be an excellent example of how the evil of predisambiguated naming conventions manifests and entrenches itself. English city names are not predisambiguated, but almost all U.S. cities are, as are most automobile manufacturers. This is a neutral page about naming conventions, and anyone reading this and invited to participate is just as likely to be biased one way as the other on these controversial subjects. --Serge (talk) 19:02, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
No. The problem isn't where you were asking people to participate, or who you were asking, it was how you were asking - putting only one side of the argument forward in an unflagged discussion where it would not be seen, scrutinised or challenged - even if it is in a neutral venue. That is not on and explicitly discouraged at WP:CANVASS in terms of neutrality and transparency. Please do not do it again. Knepflerle (talk) 22:55, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
If "predisambiguation" is evil are all naming conventions evil too? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 19:08, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
No, only the ones that mandate predisambiguation are evil. I mentioned above the TV episode naming convention that specifies a convention for disambiguating (add name of TV series in parenthesis), but explicitly states it to be used only when there is a conflict for the name of the episode. That's a good naming convention. So are the ones used for most city names in the world... (the ones that allow disambiguating only when there is a conflict at [[Cityname]]). --Serge (talk) 19:19, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
It may be that some Naming conventions need to be displayed more clearly: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (television) includes the statement "Remember that the disambiguator should be added only if multiple articles would normally have the same name.", but only in the first paragraph where it's easy to miss if you jump straight to one of the sections on how to disambiguate specific entities (eg TV series), which don't mention the possibility of not disambiguating because it's included above! I moved La Fama (TV series) to La Fama earlier today, but then looked at its history and saw that someone had moved it in the other direction earlier citing "naming convention". Ah well. We'll never get all editors to follow all the rules/guidelines! PamD (talk) 15:32, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
The reason we will never get all editors to follow all the rules/guidelines is because there are far too many rules and guidelines. This is why I am beginning to favor replacing all naming conventions and rules with the following, along with retaining the definitions of common name and primary usage:
The most common name used to refer to the subject of the article should be the title of the article. In addition, if the subject does not have primary usage of the name, then disambiguating information in parenthesis after the common name distinguishes the particular usage from the other uses of the name.
Examples: if the subject of a given article is the primary usage for its name then do not disambiguate it, as in Paris. If it is not the primary usage, but, for example, is the only city among all the uses, then use Name (city), as in Cork (city). If it's the only use that is a product brand, then use Name (brand). If there are several brands but this is the only automobile brand, then use Name (automobile brand). If it's a city, not the only city, but the only city in England, the U.S. or Vermont, then use Name (England city), Name (United States city), or Name (Vermont city) respectively.
I contend that this guideline already reflects how most articles are named, except for those classes of articles where predisambiguation is mandated, and for those in which names are disambiguated without parenthesis (with either a more precise name, with the comma convention, etc.).
Now, adoption this guideline would mean reviewing and possibly changing some or even all of the articles titles that share a given common name every time a new article is created with that name, but that naming review process should be gone though by the editor-creator of a new article anyway, and it's a good thing if a naming convention encourages editors to do what they are supposed to do. The notion that naming conventions that predisambiguate simplify things and reduce work is wrong - predismabugation only creates that illusion and discourages editors from doing the work they should be doing.
Think about it. The above two-sentence (not counting the examples) naming convention, or something very similar to it, could replace the entire complicated myriad of existing naming conventions that are becoming more and more impossible to comply with. --Serge (talk) 17:22, 28 October 2008 (UTC)


This may well be a useful list; and we should certainly check to see that all the individual language conventions are listed in one place. But do we need it, or should it be merged? Conversely, can the task of listing language conventions be dumped there? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 03:37, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

National varieties of English

I suggest that we move the section Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English)#National varieties of English from the WP:UE guideline up into this policy under the section "General conventions" --PBS (talk) 13:16, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Concur. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 03:38, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Done --PBS (talk) 10:12, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Naming conventions redirects

See Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions/Archive 11#Naming conventions redirects and Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (common_names)#Naming conventions redirects --PBS (talk) 12:38, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Done. --PBS (talk) 09:55, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Planned or aborted geographical features

Since the names of geotagged articles are used on things like Google Maps & Google Earth (and others), should articles about planned (or planned, but aborted) features reflect their status? For example, Allandale railway station was recently moved to Allandale railway station (proposed), but that move was reverted. I don't think that this should be decided on a per-article basis, without an over-arching policy, which should be discussed here, I'll post pointers elsewhere. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 12:48, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Google's use of our data is not our concern. We have naming conventions that avoid unnecessary disambiguation. Would you have us move all of the entries on list of extinct states, such as East Germany and Panama Canal Zone? --NE2 13:27, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Are those articles geotagged? Or is that just a slippery slope argument? I deliberately made clear that our concerns - which are real and valid - apply not only to Google, but also to other re-users of our data. I'm well aware that we have naming conventions that avoid unnecessary disambiguation; I'm suggesting that this form of disambiguation, for this sub-set of articles, may be necessary (though, strictly, this isn't disambiguation, but clarification). Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 13:38, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
If Allandale railway station is not actually to be found at 55°59′06″N 3°55′47″W, then perhaps it should not be geotagged at 55°59′06″N 3°55′47″W. I think that's what should be under discussion here, not the naming of the article. -- Jao (talk) 13:57, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Though there is nothing to be found at that location; that location is the subject of the article; likewise for railway stations (or whatever) which were at a given location, but have since been demolished. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 14:08, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
The tagged article title does not actually represent something which exists at that location. But we often have to ignore what is visible at the tagged location, but there should be a reasonable location for the tagged item. We often deal with locations of historical events (Battle of Gettysburg, World Trade Center, residences of the President of the United States, splashdown site of Apollo 11) where the reason for the location being of interest may no longer be present (ie, the capital moved or the building was burned). Some existing things are not particularly visible if you walk to the specified location (center of Mammoth Cave, top of Washington Monument). But often the location is significant even if you can't see at that location what is described. -- SEWilco (talk) 15:58, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Geotagging is done so readers can click on the coordinates and see a map of where the feature was to be. --NE2 14:13, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I agree it's useful. But then we'll have to live with re-users not being able to automatically know whether a geographic feature found on Wikipedia currently exists or not – unless we can convey that information through a magic {{coord}} parameter. That shouldn't be impossible, right? -- Jao (talk) 14:27, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
They should be geotagged, shouldn't they? (If there's a size limit that these exceed, replace them with smaller features like West Berlin and Osborn, Ohio.) --NE2 14:13, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

In my head, the article name should remain unchanged. "X railway station" is a good enough name for a proposed, or aborted, or extant, or demised station. I'm not sure on what basis we would hope to convey all the information on an aborted station through the title, nor do I think it necessary. Allandale railway station names the concept of such a station excatly as well as it would name the actual station were it ever to be built. --Tagishsimon (talk) 15:16, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree that adding (proposed) is unnecessary disambiguation for this case and other locations that are geocached and don't actually exist. Geo cache finders should know what they are looking for (in this case the location of a proposed station) and do the research (e.g., read the Wikipedia article) if they don't. By the way, to make it clear predisambiguation (another form of unnecessary disambiguation) is to be avoided, I have made a proposal. See the previous section on this talk page. Thanks. --Born2cycle (talk) 16:56, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

If it is necessary to indicate status of a feature, I think a template would be more appropriate way of achieving it, either by creating a new template containing the {{coord}} and the additional information, or adapting the {{coord}}. Also if a station is both closed and proposed for reopening, for example Low Moor railway station, I think it only needs one article. —Snigbrook 01:17, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Naming conventions for fires

What are the naming conventions for fires? Some are named by their location (Sayre Fire) while others by date (September 2005 California wildfires). A further inconsistency occurs in the use of "wildfire" or "wildfires" (November 2007 California wildfire vs. October 2007 California wildfires). -- King of ♠ 01:03, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

These "inconsistencies" reflect inconsistencies in the real world. It is not our business to deny these.
  • The first difference is between fires which have proper names and those which don't. We should use proper names where they exist and are common (because our readers will), and we should not invent them where they do not exist.
  • The second is a question of fact: the October article discusses a large number of independent fires, not all of which existed simultaneously; the November article discusses one fire, near Malibu.
I grant that whether a fire is one or multiple is often a question of taste. I also cannot say that the classification here is being made correctly. But neither of these can be decided by a naming convention. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:32, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
The naming conventions for fires are the same as conventions for Hungarian villages, musical instruments of Papua New Guinea and Panamanian volleyball teams - WP:NC, which for 95% of cases is WP:COMMONNAMES + WP:UE. There is no demand for consistency to override the primary concern of common, unambiguous English usage. If all appropriate redirects are created (i.e. for X Fire create X wildfire, X wildfires, X fire 19ZZ, etc), the actual site of the article barely makes a difference. It's the redirect creation that helps the users by getting them to the right article in the first place; once they're there, the name in bold at the top is a minor detail. If you just make the names consistent but don't create the redirects, there may well be plenty of readers who never even get as far as the article they want, and thus will never appreciate the consistency of the title with other titles ;)
There are very few cases where specific ancillary conventions are required - the monarchs' convention springs to mind as being a case where there is massive possibility for ambiguity and confusion without some extra assistance. Keeping the exceptions few also means it's easier to keep on top of the exceptions, and avoids large number of cases where an article in two topics with different conventions clash in their guidance.
It's good that you've identified the problem in this class of articles, but I believe the solution lies elsewhere, in redirect creation. Best, Knepflerle (talk) 16:07, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
I concur with PMAnderson and Knepflerle. In the case where the most common name for a fire conflicts with other uses of that name, appropriate disambiguation information can be provided in parenthesis (brackets), but the content of that disambiguation information will depend on the nature of the other uses. For example, if the name of the fire is Foo, and other uses of Foo are not fires, then Foo (fire) would be called for. But this is general stuff that is not specific to fires. There is no need for fire specific conventions. --Born2cycle (talk) 16:20, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Proposed naming convention for articles on mills

I'd like to propose a naming convention for articles on windmills, watermills etc. I have created a number of articles on individual windmills, but I'm not the only editor to have created articles on individual windmills. Currently we have a mish-mash of titles. A few articles I've created have been moved to alternative titles. I've not moved them back as I would rather not waste time in edit wars and prefer to use my time improving Wikipedia. Currently there is no naming convention I can quote to back up any moving of titles.

The proposal is this:-

Where a mill was known by a name, then the title of the article should be in the format of Mill name, parish. For example, Black Mill, Barham. If a mill is/was known by more than one name, then the article should go under the best known name, with redirects from other names. For example, Bragg's Mill, Ashdon, William Bragg's Mill, Ashdon, Bartlow Hamlet Mill, Ashdon and Stevington End Mill, Ashdon.

Where a mill is not known by a name, the the title of the article should be in the format of Parish Windmill (capitalise Windmill as it's a Proper Noun). For example, Rolvenden Windmill.

If further disambiguation is necessary, then the county (or equivalent) can be included. Thus we would have Smith's Mill, Newtown, Highshire and Smith's Mill, Newtown, Lowshire, with Smith's Mill, Newtown being a disambiguation page.

Articles should not be under titles like Ashby's Mill or Fowler's Mill, as it is likely that there are/were more than one mill by this name. Such names should be disambiguation pages, such as Black Mill.

Where two or more windmills were worked together, the article title should be in the style of Parish Windmills, with redirects from individual mill titles, for example Clavering Windmills, which are also known as North Mill and South Mill. Mills that were in the same place and not worked together should be under separate titles as above.

In the case of article on mills where English is not the mother tongue, I propose that the article title should be that in which the mill is/was known in the country that it is/was located. Thus we would have Molen De Adriaan, Haarlem and Moulin Hollebecque, Halluin. Translations of the article titles can be created as redirects if desired. In the case of Belgium, titles should be in French for mills in Wallonia, and Dutch for mills in Flanders, thus corresponding with the languages spoken there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mjroots (talkcontribs)

  • Does this differ from the usage of sources? If so, how? Where it does, why should it? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:52, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
later clarified to
  • Does this proposed convention differ from the convention of WP:COMMONNAME: call articles by the term English usually uses for the subject (and so in general follow the usage of the English sources for the article)?
  • If so, how does it differ? (This includes such differences as "This mill in Haarlem is not mentioned in English, so we need other guidance on what to call it.")
  • Where it differs from WP:COMMONNAME, what is the justification for the differences?
These are not rhetorical questions, intended to shoot down the proposal; I would like answers for them before deciding whether to support it. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:03, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Generally it follows WP:COMMONNAME. In a few cases, a mill with a name is better known as a mill at a location now - Abraham's Mill, Upminster is better known as Upminster Windmill. The article is at the better known name. In the case of mills abroad, there are very few sources that use an English name, which is why I propose to use the name the mill is known by where it is. Almost all mills in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany have names. Currently, there are very few articles on individual mills in Europe. This is not because they are not notable, but because they haven't been written/translated yet. Books in English covering foreign mills tend to use the foreign name of the mill (e.g. Transactions of The International Molinological Society).
In the case of "Molen De Adriaan, Haarlem" which translates literally to "Mill the Adrian, Harlem" or properly "the Adrian Mill, Harlem" a Yahoo search using the English terms Adrian mill Harlem fails to find the mill, but search for the Dutch terms Adriaan molen Haarlem finds plenty of sources.
The above is an example of why WP:UE needs to be ignored to some extent in the case of mills abroad. As I stated originally, an English translation of the article title can be created as a redirect, thus allowing better searching on Wikipedia. Mjroots (talk) 08:06, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Read WP:UE more carefully. It does not say we must always use the Anglicized form (for example, it does not support Lunenburg, which is no longer English usage); and it specifically advises that when a topic has no established usage in English because it is rarely discussed, we should use the conventions of the local language, as you propose to do. Something not discussed in English at all is a special case of this.
If this needs clarification to make it more visible, please feel free to edit or make proposals at WT:UE. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:24, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
<aside> excuse my reformatting the discussion - with the indentation and lack of signature, it took me three reads to work out who said what here. Feel free to revert if it's unsatisfactory (and accept my apologies), but for me at least the threading is clearer. Best, Knepflerle (talk) 15:46, 16 November 2008 (UTC) </aside>
As far as I can see there is no need for a separate convention - your idea seems to follow the principle of using the most-common unambiguous name with the appropriate caveats for cases where there is no established English usage. As long as all conceivable redirects are created any sensible naming scheme would be useful. I'd hesitate to create a separate convention when any differences to the project-wide conventions are rare and minor, especially if the convention is particularly non-trivial with numerous cases. The prospect of hundreds of topic-specific intricate naming conventions which clash when articles come under the auspices of multiple topics simultaneously is not a happy one, given the minor benefits they bring to articles well-furnished with redirects. Knepflerle (talk) 15:56, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm not aware of any basis for including the parish name when the name of the mill alone is not ambiguous. In the case of Black Mill, which is a dab page, I see the need to disambiguate with more precise information. Whether that is , ParishName or (ParishName) or something else can be left to the editor. But Bragg's Mill, Ashdon should be at Bragg's Mill. Note that as of this writing while William Bragg's Mill, Ashdon redirects to Bragg's Mill, Ashdon, there are no articles or redirects at Bragg's Mill and William Bragg's Mill. This example illustrates problem #4 with predisambiguation: "4. creates "orphans" - articles at predisambiguated titles without appropriate links/references from the undisambiguated name". Mill titles should be titled by their name, with dabbing only when dabbing is required. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:34, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
There doesn't need to be a redirect at Bragg's Mill or William Bragg's Mill as the drop-down search box has eliminated that. Just because articles haven't been created yet doesn't mean that it's a bad thing to disambiguate in advance. See List of windmills in the United Kingdom and all the lists linked from that to see the extent of the problem, particularly with common names like Black Mill, White Mill, Upper Mill, Lower Mill, Great Mill, Little Mill, Beacon Mill (all common mill names, as are those named after compass points). I'm working on creating articles on surviving windmills before doing those which no longer survive. This is a long term project. Mjroots (talk) 20:51, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Just a note, but the dropdown box has eliminated nothing. You can't assume all users are browsing with Javascript enabled, and also, disambigs are helpful for linking. Some would say it's better to have a less-than-ideal link than a redlink which just encourages a duplicate article to be written. --Golbez (talk) 14:25, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Titles of all articles with common/ambiguous names should be disambiguated. Of course. But names of articles with unique most common names, like Bragg's Mill, are not common/ambiguous and so adding precision (location in this case) to the title is unnecessary and therefore in violation of WP:PRECISION. There are reasons for having these guidelines; please do not ignore them. If you create an article at, say, "Foo Mill, SomePlace", and not one at "Foo Mill", then someone else who creates an article at "Foo Mill, OtherPlace" may very well create a link from "Foo Mill" to "Foo Mill, OtherPlace", or just put that article at "Foo Mill". If you put your article at "Foo Mill, SomePlace" and add a redirect from "Foo Mill", then that other person may decide that the most common name of your mill is not "Foo Mill" (since you did not place your article there despite it's availability) and claim "Foo Mill" for the one in OtherPlace. Either way, it's a mess, and it happens all the time with other classes of names that are predisambiguated. By the way, I, for one, would prefer to see any additional information (there due to necessity for disambiguation purposes) in parenthesis (brackets), not after a comma. Good luck with this ambitious project, but please do not ignore the naming conventions. --Born2cycle (talk) 15:20, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Generally, place names are disambiguated with a comma rather than parenthesis. See St. Mary's Church for an example. So, I create "Foo Mill, Someplace" at "Foo Mill". Another editor might create "Foo Mill, Otherplace" with that title. So far, there is no disambiguation at all, and an editor looking for "Foo Mill, Someplaceelse" is not going to find it. Whereas if "Foo Mill" is created as a disambiguation page, it can be predisambiguated with redlinks, indicating the article hasn't been written yet. HMS Meteor is a good example of predisambiguation. Mjroots (talk) 07:15, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
My disaffection with respect to the usage of a comma for disambiguation rather than parenthesis extends to all place names, and for the same reason: it's inconsistent with the rest of Wikipedia articles which use parenthesis to isolate disambiguatory information from the topic name. It's also ambiguous. Is the stuff behind the comma part of the name of the topic, or not? Such usage of a dab page looks good in a particular example, such as HMS Meteor, but depends on some editor going to the trouble of adding a line to the appropriate dab page. If an editor is going to do that, why not just create the article? What's much more likely, as is the case for most of these mills, is that the article is created at the predisambiguated name and there is no dab article at the mill's name. Another possibility is there maybe is an article on some topic at the mill's name, but no hint of the existence of this mill with that name. That's a very prevalent problem among classes of names that are predisambiguated, and one of the main reasons some editors have realized it is much better to follow the general guidelines only disambiguate with more precise information in the article title when it is necessary to disambiguate from other uses of that name, per WP:PRECISION (such as the wise editors of TV episode names). --Born2cycle (talk) 15:11, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
I've created disambiguation pages for the most common mill names. (Black Mill, White Mill, Upper Mill, Lower Mill, Great Mill, Little Mill, New Mill, Old Mill, North Mill, East Mill, South Mill, West Mill, Town Mill). I've yet to create the list of windmills for the most populous counties mill-wise - Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. A great deal of the mills on the individual county lists have the potential to be articles on their own, and that's before we even start with those outside the UK! One reason for not creating articles from disambig pages is to avoid cluttering up Wikipedia with lots of very short stub articles. IMO it's better to leave each redlink and create articles at a slower rate, but of C or B quality each time. Mjroots (talk) 17:33, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Again, for mills with names that conflict, both dab pages and disambiguated titles are in order. My beef is with mill names that have unique names but are never-the-less given disambiguated titles. That practice is providing unnecessary precision (beyond the topic's name) in the title, by definition, and so violates WP:PRECISION. --Born2cycle (talk) 04:17, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) Bragg's Mill is now a disambig page. Bragg's Mill, Ashdon was at correct title when created. Mjroots (talk) 11:04, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Articles involving murder victims/murder cases

I am currently involved in an unusual debate over the naming of the article Gwen Araujo. The article is not really a biography but about a murder case. I personally feel that since the article is not about the life of Gwen Araujo but about her murder that the article should be titled Murder of Gwen Araujo (now a redirect since the article was moved back in total disregard to the talk page discussion). This is just one such case of literally hundreds where murder cases are titled under the name of the victim. I don't think this is really the best naming practice since what often occurs is a pseudo-biography of the victim, involving irrelevent details from their life that are not really encyclopedic, at times resemble a tabloid, or infringe upon the privacy of victim and their family. Likewise it doesn't seem to fit well with the policies regarding victims at Wikipedia:Notability (criminal acts), which strictly prohibits articles on victims (unless they were notable for something other than being a victim). These articles shouldn't be biographies and the naming should reflect that. Any thoughts on maybe trying to set a policy in the naming of murder cases so as not to confuse them with biographies?Nrswanson (talk) 13:38, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Thousands, surely? including historical cases from Edmund Berry Godfrey to Kitty Genovese; which is an argument against moving some small number of them without stronger reason than is here given.
Articles written like tabloids should be cleaned up; articles written like tabloids about unnotable cases should be deleted: moving them will only mean they will be tabloid articles in some other location, which is no service to the encyclopedia. A bad article does not become good by changing its title; that's moving the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Wikipedia:Notability (criminal acts) is neither policy nor guideline; its basis in policy would be WP:BLP, which does not apply here - these are not living persons. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:47, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree. The criminal acts notability standard was crafted to deal with living persons to avoid writing biographies of people who were only known for one event. It doesn't apply to murder victims, some of whom become notable by their death. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 21:55, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
A comparison can be made (and should be) with various articles on kidnappings and abductions - currently their titling is all over the place, but a lot seem to be in the form "Foo kidnapping case" or "Kidnapping of Foo". if this is formularised to "Murder of Foo", the the latter is probably preferable for kidnappings, to keep it in line with this. Grutness...wha? 22:58, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Good point. And there are also tons of "Murder of..." or even "Killing of..." articles. The discussion I am currently in has one editor arguing that all "Murder of (insert individual)" articles are improperly titled per the policies here. I personally prefer the Murder of... format. I think there should be some policies written clarifying how to title articles about criminal acts/crimes. Nrswanson (talk) 23:10, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Please, no. The last thing we need is yet another rule. Each case is different and needs to be handled individually. Sometimes the case is best known by the name of the murderer (OJ, Jack the Ripper, Zodiac, etc.). Sometimes the case is best known by the victim (Jon-Benet Ramsey, Polly Klass, etc.) Sometimes "Murder of victim" is appropriate, sometimes not. Decide the name of each article individually, please, following the general guidelines and conventions of course. --Born2cycle (talk) 04:25, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to reduce naming conflicts - avoid preemptive disambiguation

The current wording in the section on common names, Use common names of persons and things, is at the root of much conflict over article names. It currently states:

Convention: Except where other accepted Wikipedia naming conventions give a different indication, use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things; use the naming conflict guideline when there is a conflict. Where articles have descriptive names, the given name must be neutrally worded and must not carry POV implications.
Rationale and specifics: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names)

The first clause, "Except where other accepted Wikipedia naming conventions give a different indication", is at the root of most naming conflicts and arguments. For a category of names in which "the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things" is generally difficult if not impossible to determine (names of royalty is a good example), other conventions are useful in providing naming guidance. But those cases are not exceptions to the common name convention, since "the most common name of a person or thing" is not determined and so cannot be used. Those are cases where the use-the-common-name guideline is insufficient, and more guidance is required.

But in those cases where the most common name is blatantly obvious, it should be used as the title of the article, period. That would eliminate all the back and forth arguing between those in favor of using the more common name and those in favor of using the more precise title per some predisambiguating format/convention.

Also, conventions that call for naming articles according to a particular preemptive disambiguation format instead of the most common name create situations where editors of articles with another use of that name are tempted to improperly claim primary usage for their article since the other article is at some other predisambiguated title. This problem surfaces time and time again, and would be eliminated if editors would look to the most common name for all articles as their default, and only resorted to the more detailed conventions and guidelines when disambiguation was required per the "when necessary" clause of WP:PRECISION: "Be precise when necessary".

As such, I propose changing the current wording with regard to common names to the following:

Convention: Whenever the most common name of an article topic is known, and it does not conflict with the names of other article topics, use it as the name of the article. When the most common name cannot be determined, or it conflicts with other notable uses of that name, other accepted Wikipedia naming conventions should provide appropriate guidance; use the naming conflict guideline when there is a conflict. Where articles have descriptive names, the given name must be neutrally worded and must not carry POV implications.
Rationale and specifics: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names)

Note that I am also proposing we replace the "person or thing" wording with the more general "article topic" term.

There is always resistance to change, but it is worth it when it reduces work and conflict in the long run. This approach has been proven to reduce conflict on a smaller scale (such as for TV episode article names which explicitly states that editors "should avoid preemptive disambiguation"). With that proven success, what I'm proposing here is essentially uniformly applying that simple rule, "avoid preemptive disambiguation", for all articles in Wikipedia.

Of course, corresponding changes to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) and other affected convention pages to be in compliance with this policy change are implied.

Comments? --Born2cycle (talk) 20:21, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes. It's a bad idea, Serge, even if "person or thing" is replaced by "article topic".
It has not significantly reduced edit wars on TV episodes, as the major wars on those are not the name, but whether an episode article should be summarily merged into the article on the season (US)/series (UK) or series (US)/programme (UK). That war has resumed, in spite of 3 RfAr's. (The question of whether EpName may better refer to EpName (Show1) than EpName (Show 2) even if EpName (Show1) redirects to Show1 (season 2) also would be a cause of edit wars....)
I don't have a specific proposal at the moment, but I suggest that it be made clear that project-specific protocols be specifically allowed to override the anti-disambiguation clause of WP:NC(CN). As an extreme case, we used to have articles for "Highway 23 (King's highway, Ontario)", or something like that. It's now "Highway 23 (Ontario)", but it could just as easily be "Highway 23 (King's highway)" under your guideline, as there might be no other Wikipedia article on a "King's Highway" which is route 23.
I suggest, at a minimum, that the convention be changed to:
Convention: Whenever
  1. the most common name of an article topic is known,
  2. the article topic is the most common use of that name,
  3. and the name does not conflict with the names of other article topics,
use it as the name of the article, unless a specific protocol specifies otherwise. When conditions 1, 2, and 3 are not all met, other accepted Wikipedia naming conventions should provide appropriate guidance; use the naming conflict guideline when there is a conflict. Where articles have descriptive names, the given name must be neutrally worded and must not carry POV implications.
Commentary on this proposal: It explicitly allows other guidelines to override WP:CN(NC). Clause 2 specifies not only is the topic known by the name, but someone seeing the name would expect to see the topic. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 22:16, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Preemptive disambiguation is not the cause of this problem. In fact if preemptive disambiguation was the rule there would be almost no problems. Disambiguation does place articles that were not disambiguated in a position of power and gives them the ability to resist moving to a disambiguated name even when other guidelines call for this to happen. If we are going to change any wording, that change needs to make clear that disambiguated pages must be considered as rightful candidate for the main name space. The article at the main name space does not enjoy any special privilege by currently being at the main name space. Vegaswikian (talk) 22:27, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I should have requested a clarification of the current guidelines to add clause 2. Vegaswikian has a proposal for a completely different part of WP:NC, which I also agree with. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 22:46, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Arthur, of course my proposed change is not a panacea that would eliminate all edit wars. It wouldn't even eliminate all debate over naming (the issue of whether a given usage is primary, for example, would still have to be resolved the same regardless of whether we go ahead with this change or leave it the way it is, or go with your suggestion). But, in cases where there are no conflicts with the most common name of a given topic, it should eliminate debate over whether the article's title should be it's common name or follow some predisambiguated format. Again, I point to the TV episodes for where exactly that has occurred. Since your proposal includes the clause, "unless a specific protocol specifies otherwise", it perpetuates all problems caused by predisambiguation.

Vegaswikian, you say predisambiguation is not the cause of "the problem". What do you mean by "the problem"? The problem of debates over whether an article's title should be it's common name or follow some predisambiguated format is certainly caused by the practice of predisambiguation. You recognize the problem of predisambiguated articles being at a "power" (your word) disadvantage compared to topics with the same name that are not predisambiguated, which is why you contend that if predisambiguation would be the rule then there would be almost no problems. How so? Say one use of A is predisambiguated to A (B) and so is at a disadvantage to any other use of A which is not predisambiguated. The other uses of A, even if the A at A, B is more common or even the primary usage, will try to be at A. You contend that if the other uses were predisambiguated too, say at A, C and A, D, then there would be no problem. Again, I ask, how so? The issue of which one, if any, is primary use still has to be dealt with. Should A be a dab page, or redirect to one of the disambiguated As? All predisambiguation does is obscure these issues and make them much less likely to be noticed and managed correctly. What only disambiguate when necessary accomplishes is that it forces editors to deal with, and resolve, these issues, one way or another. Partial predisambiguation creates the obscuring problem, and universal predisambiguation (assuming it were even practically possible, which it is not) would only make it worse.

You suggest that the wording state clearly "that disambiguated pages must be considered as rightful candidate for the main name space", which would be useful and helpful assuming the problem is noticed. But only if the rule is only disambiguate when necessary will many of these cases even be noticed. Look at how many years went by before anyone noticed the conflict with the city in England being at Plymouth. Sure, once it was noticed maybe the wording you suggest would have helped our position, but if the U.S. cities were not automatically predisambiguated this problem (and a myriad of others) could and would have been nipped in the bud. That's one of the problem with predisambiguation. It obscures naming conflicts. The other problem is it creates unnecessary debate. --Born2cycle (talk) 23:33, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Copy and past from Wikipedia_talk:Naming conventions (common_names)#Proposal to change nutshell wording:

Whenever the most common name of a person or thing is known, and it does not conflict with the names of other notable people or things, use it as the name of the article would mean that the article William I of England would be move to William the Conqueror. It would negate many other conventions and guidelines to the conventions. If that is to be contemplated it should be done on the policy page and very widely advertised. --PBS (talk) 18:41, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Actually, this page is a convention page, but not a policy page like WP:NC. But I'll take the proposal up there. And yes, I do think it's a mistake to have William the Conqueror at William I of England, though the problem of defaulting to something other than the most common name is not as evident in some classes of names (like names of royalty) as it is in others, but it does establish precedent that often leads to conflict. Thanks. --Born2cycle (talk) 19:22, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

I'll add that in addition to obscuring naming conflicts and creating unnecessary debate, a third problem created by predisambiguation is that the practice makes Wikipedia titles much less reliable for readers to determine the most common names of topics. If only disambiguate when necessary was the rule, then Wikipedia article titles could be relied on to convey the most common name of the given topic to the reader. Not only that, but all titles would instantly convey whether the given topic is the primary use of that name or not (if it's not disambiguated then it is the primary use, if it's disambiguated then there is at least one other usage significant enough to make this one not primary). That is currently the case with TV episode names. For example, simply because the House episode 97 Seconds is not disambiguated, we know that not only is 97 Seconds its most common name (if not its only name), but that this topic is the primary use of that name. There is no notable restaurant, bar or hotel named 97 Seconds, no film, book, play or computer game, with that name, nothing else. We know all that simply because TV episode names follow the disambiguate only when necessary rule. If House episodes were predisambiguated, so that this article was at 97 Seconds (House), we could not tell from the title alone anything about any other potential uses of 97 Seconds. For a name within a category that predisambiguates, like royalty names, we just don't know. To use Philip's example from above, the article title William I of England tells us nothing about the most common name for that ruler (which happens to be William the Conqueror, much less whether this article has primary use of that name. All that information about common names and primary use that is easily and implicitly automatically conveyed in articles titles when we have only disambiguate when necessary, is lost because of the practice of predisambiguation. And this is not only potentially valuable information to the reader, but any editor creating an article whose common name may already be used benefits from clarity in naming in this area.

And a fourth problem with predisambiguation is that the practice creates orphans - disambiguated articles without proper links from the common name. For example, if House articles were predisambiguated, 97 Seconds (House) might easily exist without even a redirect or dab link from 97 Seconds, which is the case for countless articles that belong to classes of names that are predisambiguated.

And a fifth problem is the one pointed out by Vegaswikian - predisambiguation of one class of articles gives undue priority to alternate uses of that name for an article that does not predisambiguate.

So there you have the five problems of predisambiguation, all explained in detail above:

  1. creating countless unnecessary debates over whether the most common name should be used for a given article, or the predisambiguated name according to some convention for a class of articles to which that article belongs.
  2. obscuring naming conflicts
  3. makes Wikipedia titles much less reliable for readers and editors to determine the most common names of topics
  4. creates "orphans" - articles at predisambiguated titles without appropriate links/references from the undisambiguated name.
  5. gives undue priority for claiming primary usage for names by topics that don't belong to a class that is predisambiguated.

All these problems can be easily resolved by universally adopting the simple rule of disambiguate only when necessary (and wouldn't exist if that rule would have been adopted universally in Wikipedia from the beginning). To resolve all these problems, I urge everyone to give serious thought to adopting the policy change I'm proposing at the top of this section. --Born2cycle (talk) 00:26, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

On the other hand, your attempt to implement this in WP:PLACES is exactly what is causing the edit wars. If you hadn't started it, then US cities would be located at City, State and there wouldn't have been a problem. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 02:45, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Oh, please. As if I'm the only one proposing and supporting the movement of U.S. cities which have primary usage for their names to [[Cityname]]. I was mostly dormant on that issue for over a year during which time there were quite a number of attempts to have various cities moved, some of which recently succeeded, until finally someone proposed moving the entire so-called AP list. That would have all happened without me (it did happen without me); you can't seriously believe one Wikipedian could have so much influence, that without my efforts over there there wouldn't have been an issue. That's ridiculous. Yes, I defend my positions with consensus-supported assumptions, logic and reason (because that's how I form my opinions, including the one behind this proposal), but, if anything, my overbearing style probably backfires with respect to persuading others. But the fact that all those moves were proposed -- how many times did people propose moving just Los Angeles, California to Los Angeles? Four? Five? -- and debated, is evidence that supports point #1 in the list of problems created by predisambiguation I listed above. And that's evidence from just one subcategory of names. Similar examples can be found in just about any category that predisambiguates, and will continue to be produced (along with causing the other problems in the list above) as long as we continue to have naming conventions that disambiguate preemptively. Note that categories of names that do not predisambiguate do not have these recurring debates. Anyway, this isn't about me. Please stop with the ad hominem attacks and address the proposal and supporting argument I have presented above. Thanks. --Born2cycle (talk) 03:52, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

I would gladly support this proposal if it applied only to parenthetical disambiguation. I would assume when seeing 97 Seconds (House) that there's another 97 Seconds. I can't say I have a real problem with Kennebunkport, Maine and Gustav V of Sweden though. -- Jao (talk) 12:42, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Why the distinction with parenthetical disambiguation? If a given topic has a clear and obvious most common name, then either its article title is that, or it is disambiguated. --Born2cycle (talk) 21:13, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Also, as someone wise once noted: redirects are cheap. So (to use an example above) place the article at Los Angeles, California (as is the - wait for it - common convention for cities in the U.S.), and have any number of redirects, as appropriate. - jc37 12:53, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
    • It is true that redirects are cheap and they solve search problems - when and if editors remember and bother to create the appropriate redirects (and/or dab page references). Problem #2 in the list is that preemptive disambiguation obscures naming conflicts. In fact, one of the appeals of preemptive disambiguation is the misconception that predisambiguation allows the new article creator to avoid the hassles of dealing with naming conflicts because he can use a predetermined/reserved/unique name that almost certainly has no conflicts. This is a fallacy that the wise editors of TV episodes recognized. Predabbing saves you nothing. You still have to check and see if the most common name for the topic is available, and, if it is, create a redirect there. If it's already being used, then you still have to deal with the conflicts, starting with determining which use, if any, is primary, and create all the appropriate dabs/references to the relevant pages. That predisambiguation saves the creator from any of this work is not only a myth, but the notion is detrimental to Wikipedia since it inhibits editors from doing this necessary work by allowing them to easily create articles without doing it. Dealing with the conflicts becomes drudgery and a low priority. In contrast, the practice of disambiguate only when necessary forces the article creator to deal with the potential naming conflict issues before creating the article - it makes it a priority. That's what I mean by preemptive disambiguation obscuring naming conflicts, and one of the reasons why editors of TV episodes dispensed with the practice. --Born2cycle (talk) 15:12, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

comment on All predisambiguation does is obscure these issues and make them much less likely to be noticed and managed correctly. The only place were I know we defininately predisambiguate as a rule is numerical divisions and royal names. The reason for this is that if I put in the 240th Division and it is a red link, then when someone gets around to writing the article the link may or may not point to the correct article. Having a determined disambiguation format (see for example 10th Division) helps the editor, who knows the rule from Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Style guide#Naming conventions to link to the correct article, if the article exists or if it is created in the future. Similar considerations are true for the naming of kings and queens, the rules help people to navigate more quickly once they know the rule and redirects take care of the rest. An exception is made for "If a monarch or prince is overwhelmingly known, in English, by a cognomen, it may be used, and there is then no need to disambiguate by adding Country." (Wikipedia:Naming conventions (names and titles)). User:Born2cycle you, have highlighted some of the general problems of predisambiguation, and perhaps we need a sentence about it in the section "Be precise when necessary" or in one of the guidelines linked to that section. --PBS (talk) 15:16, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Philip, with my proposed change the first clause would be, Whenever the most common name of an article topic is known, .... With numbered divisions and almost all royalty names the most common name of the topic is not known, certainly not widely known, and so other guidance would be sought. Same with highways and any other class of names for which the most common name is not clear and obvious. But topics that have actual well known primary distinctive names, like famous people, books, films, most places, etc., they would go by their most common name, unless there was a conflict with other uses of that name to work out. --Born2cycle (talk) 21:13, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Actually, royalty, some place names (most of the US, almost all of Canada and Australia), and highways are predisambiguated, that I know of. (In regard highways, if we, at the moment, only have one route 7105, doesn't mean that another one won't appear.) It's not done using our usual Wikipedia disambiguation conventions, but using WikiProject Highways conventions, but it's still preemtive disambiguation. Perhaps disambiguate when likely to become ambiguous in a predictable manner would be a better general guideline than disambiguate only when necessary. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:09, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
So if there was only one route 7105, you'd insist that the title be route 7105 rather than Texas state route 7105? — Arthur Rubin (talk) 21:40, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
If there was consensus that the most common name used to refer to the highway was Route 7105 then I would argue that the article about it should be at Route 7105, unless there was a conflict over that name with other uses and there was consensus that this highway 7105 was not the primary use. If the most common name was Route 7105 but it was at Texas state route 7105 with a redirect from Route 7105, then if some other article whose topic name is Route 7105 is created, it would be tempting for the editors of that article to note that Route 7105 is merely a redirect to Texas state route 7105 (thus implying that Route 7105 is a considered to be a name of secondary priority to the Texas highway), and to replace it with an article about the new South African highway. That's the problem with predisambiguation; this kind of thing happens time and time again because of it. If you don't see this pattern at WP:RM, you're just not paying attention.
What would be much better is if initially the article was at Route 7105 with a redirect from Texas state route 7105. Then, if and only if another topic whose name is Route 7105 (could be a movie, book, or whatever, as well as another highway) becomes sufficiently notable to warrant a Wikipedia article, the editors seeking to create that article will naturally look at Route 7105 and initiate a discussion about whether the existing article should be moved to Texas state route 7105, or whether the Texas highway has primary use and so the new usage should be referenced via a hat note at Route 7105. That's a necessary discussion and it's good if the naming conventions force necessary discussions to occur (which is exactly what disambiguate only when necessary accomplishes). What we want to avoid is naming conventions that obscure conflicts and create inconsistent/unresolved situations, which is what the practice of disambiguate when merely likely to become ambiguous causes). --Born2cycle (talk) 06:50, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
To completely answer your question, Arthur, if consensus was that Route 7105 was not the most common name used to refer to the one and only topic ever referred to as Route 7105 (and I agreed with that consensus), then I would not argue that Route 7105 should be the title. If no distinctive common name could be agreed upon, that would be a case where "other accepted Wikipedia naming conventions should provide appropriate guidance" (wording from my proposed change to this common name policy), and I would favor Texas state route 7105 or whatever title the appropriate convention indicated. --Born2cycle (talk) 16:02, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Disambiguate when likely to become ambiguous is pre-emptive (i.e., unnecessary) disambiguation and creates the very list of five problems I'm trying to address/resolve with this proposal. --Born2cycle (talk) 21:13, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Nonsense. I ask other editors to see whether the hypothetical route 7105 discussion above shows that Serge's (umm, Born2cycle's) proposal supports edit wars, and, perhaps more importantly, incorrect links. If Utah state route 7105 were to exist but not be considered notable, and an article on Utah referred to route 7105, it would be better for all if it (the article route 7105) were a red link or a 1-item disambiguation page, rather than a redirect. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 21:03, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Arthur, I did not understand you were suggesting in your hypothetical that route 7105 remain a red link or become a 1-item dab page. So, how would you keep editors from "fixing" the red link by creating the "missing" redirect, or from "improving" the 1-item dab page into a redirect? Relying on red links to remain red, and for 1-item dab pages to not be converted to redirects, seem like unnatural and unenforceable practices, even if some others agreed that they had merits. --Born2cycle (talk) 21:21, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
It's a problem; the redirect should be deleted and possibly salted as being intrinsicly misleading except as a dab page, and 1-item dab pages should be explictly allowed. But that's a proposal for modifying other guidelines, and not really appropriate for discussion here. The bot-assisted disambiguation-link-removal process would gradually fix the links to [[route 7105]] to [[Texas state route 7105|route 7105]] or redlinks as appropriate, if it remained a 1-item dab. Your proposal wouldn't help. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 22:24, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
My proposal wouldn't help what? With the red link and 1-item dab page problems created by your proposal? You're right, but with my proposal they would not exist. --Born2cycle (talk) 23:33, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Examples of rare non-disambiguations are Route 66 (which is a separate disambiguation from list of highways numbered 66) and Highway 401. --NE2 13:30, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

This seems like a proposal for increasing naming conflicts, not for reducing them. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 22:49, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

I've explained in detail why the proposal would decrease naming conflicts. Please explain why you think they would be increased. Remember that putting an article at a predabbed name does not reduce by one iota any conflicts the most common name for that topic has with other topics; if it does anything predabbing only obscures these problems. So you're right, it may seem like this proposal would increase naming conflicts, but that's because the conflicts would no longer be obscured by the predabbing. But it wouldn't actually increase the conflicts. --Born2cycle (talk) 23:33, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
It's a solution in search of a problem. Give me a holler if this ever comes to a vote. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 23:39, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm willing to accept that you (Serge) believe that your proposal would reduce disputes, but I see no evidence for it, and have seen evidence against in the US settlement area. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 23:52, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
And I'm willing to accept that you believe that this proposal would not reduce disputes, but I see plenty of evidence for it (and not just in the US settlement area), and am not aware of any evidence against. Hopefully we can at least agree that both of us can't be right about this. For the US settlement area, look no further than archives of the following discussion pages for plenty of evidence caused by predisambiguation of US cities: Talk:Los Angeles, Talk:Miami, Talk:Chicago, Talk: New Orleans, Talk:Boston, Talk: San Francisco, Talk:Seattle... need I go on? Not quite as obvious, but perhaps even more damaging, is that the preemptive disambiguation of U.S. cities is arguably a significant contributory cause for problems such as that illuminated by the recent naming dispute at Talk:Plymouth, where the naming conflicts with the city in England were obscured and missed for many years due to preemptive disambiguation of all U.S. settlements, including those named Plymouth, and the editors of the city in England have essentially homesteaded Plymouth as a result. Can you cite the evidence that you believe shows that my proposal would not reduce disputes in the long run? (granted they are likely to increase in the short run until the consistency of uses the most common name; don't disambiguate unless necessary is understood and appreciated by a plurality of editors). --Born2cycle (talk) 04:53, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Will, a solution in search of a problem? I've listed, numbered and explained the five problems of disambiguation above that this proposal would solve. --Born2cycle (talk) 04:53, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment User:Born2cycle a point I think we need to consider is cultural (and which is currently reflected in the settlements guideline). The U.S. has a tradition of naming cities by city and state (apart from a few well known ones as highlighted by the current settlements guideline. In Britain and Ireland, this is not the case. Most British people would never write York, Yorkshire, or an Irish person Limerick,Limerick. In a similar way cities such as Hastings, New Zealand are named after the country, (see WP:NC (New Zealand)) but the WP:NC (settlements) explicitly says for the U.S. "United States city's article should never be titled "city, country"" (why not unless it is because Americans think it looks odd?) To insist that Plymouth and Limerick, are moved seems to me to have problems which clash with national varieties of English and I think is reflected in the recent move debate. This is not to say that there is a hard and fast rule over this and common sense has to be applied. For example few if any editors are likely to want to move Boston, Lincolnshire to Boston because an unqualified use of the word Boston anywhere in the English speaking world including England would refer to the US city. Just in passing I hear on US films people referring to "Jersey" when they mean "New Jersey" does anyone ever refer to "York" when they mean New York or is York well enough known to Americans who live in NY to cause confusion? --PBS (talk) 10:21, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
  • The cultural differences with respect to disambiguating/qualifying city names are very real and I certainly do not mean to imply there aren't any, or they aren't very important. Of course they are. But these differences should only be relevant when disambiguation/qualification is necessary (per WP:PRECISION). This is why, for example, the city in Ireland is not at Cork, Ireland or Cork, County Cork or Cork, Munster, but at Cork (city). But regardless of the culture the most common name used to refer to any city anywhere is, well, the name of the city. So when disambiguation/qualification/precision is not necessary, and the name of a given city has primary use for that name, then, to be consistent with widespread Wikipedia naming conventions and guidelines, the title of that article should be the name of that city, without qualification. That's just applying the more general rule to city names, the more general rule being: when disambiguation/qualification/precision is not necessary, and the topic of a given article has primary use for the name most commonly used to refer to it, then the title of that article should be that name, without qualification. If, instead, we use preemptive disambiguation that adds precision when not necessary to the most common name not only contrary to the basic notion of this policy, but also in violation of WP:PRECISION, the we foster the creation and perpetuation of the five problems of predisambiguation (see above). --Born2cycle (talk) 17:45, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
  • It would be more impressive if someone agreed with you in this thread. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:10, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree. But there hasn't been much input given from anyone, except you and a little from Will, both of whom I have a long history of butting heads. It's not clear to me exactly how much Philip agrees or disagrees. Seems like he's still thinking about it. My main goal for now is to get the proposal out there and hopefully get some people thinking about it, especially whenever there is a dispute about any article's name. --Born2cycle (talk) 19:44, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm totally confused by the Plymouth reference. Clearly the Plymouth at the main name is NOT the primary use. So to state that it should not be moved due to cultural differences is rather odd. If there is a problem with the British settlement naming convention it is that it does not adequately deal with cases where disambiguation is needed. Vegaswikian (talk) 07:08, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I continue to oppose this; Serge does not see the advantage of predictable names, but he is almost alone in this inability. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:50, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I do see the advantages of "predictable names" (predisambiguation), which are mostly for editors when creating links. But I see their disadvantages too, which eliminate and exceed the advantages, by far. See above. --Born2cycle (talk) 03:07, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
      • Find a second editor to uphold your position, and we can discuss with that person. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:54, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
  • You're going to discuss whether I see the advantage of predictable names with someone else? --Born2cycle (talk) 16:38, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Weak support. I generally like the idea and completely understand the reasoning behind the proposal. I also understand the reasoning against this proposal (i.e., for the position that preemptive disambiguation is not harmful). I just want more evidence that the harm of preemptive disambiguation outweighs the advantages. Maybe the pros and cons of both sides should be elaborated. --seav (talk) 08:07, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
    • The harm of pre-emptive disambiguation for kings, or for American municipalities, is quite slight; thpse are the chief cases where we use it. Most of them need to be disambiguated anyway; look at the dab page Springfield or Henry IV to see why; pre-disambiguation does two things: avoid having to move pages when we find that one of them isn't ambiguous after allk, and provide a standard form, so we don't get articles on Springfield, Illinois and Springfield (Illinois). Septentrionalis PMAnderson 06:16, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Sadly, those are not the chief cases where preemptive dabbing is used. The general guidelines and conventions are being ignored willy nilly more and more. The result is titles riddled with unnecessary precision such as Russian submarine K-239 Carp, which could and should be Carp (submarine) (since its name is Carp and submarine is an informative and sufficient disambiguator). You may also notice that there is not even a hat note to the article about the sub at Carp (an all too typical example of how predabbing editors tend to not even think about their article's most common name, much less making sure it links or redirects to their article). And over at Talk:Harris, it has even been argued - by conflating topic titles with their most common names -- that since all other meanings and uses of Harris have had their titles disambiguated (including all the cities in the U.S. that were predabbed), that they are essentially not to be considered when determining whether the place in Scotland has primary use of the name Harris! This is just the tip of the iceberg of the travesties that the widespread (and getting wider) practice of predabbing has wrought. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:24, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Also, avoiding having articles on Springfield (Illinois) and Springfield, Illinois is not an advantage of predabbing over not predabbing, it's an advantage of having a convention for what to do when dabbing is necessary. That is the one and only logically consistent purpose of class-specific naming conventions: to specify how articles in that class should be named if and only if naming according to the broad/general conventions/guidelines leads to a conflict. So, if there is only one San Francisco (or there are conflicts but it is the primary topic for that name), then San Francisco (per WP:UCN and WP:PRIMARYTOPIC), otherwise San Francisco, California (per WP:NC:CITY). Simple. Clean. Unambiguous. All predabbing does is muddy the waters, to a much greater extent than even I realized, and probably still don't realize the full extent of the damage. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:36, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Renaming of this article North Sea Geological History

A conversation has been entered into at Geology North Sea about the naming North Sea Geological History . Should it be renamed Geology of the North Sea? SriMesh | talk 20:55, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Probably. The use of history as a metaphor in covering times before writing is not helpful. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:40, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Erosion of naming conventions/guidelines

Is anyone else noticing the erosion of the efficacy of the primary naming conventions and guidelines such as WP:NC, WP:COMMONNAME, WP:PRECISION, WP:D and WP:PRIMARYTOPIC? Here are just a few examples, just the tip of the iceberg:

The efficacy of the Wikipedia naming guidelines and conventions are slowly eroding, like the life of a lobster placed in a pot of cold water on a stove... Are you going to do anything about it before it's too late? Or is it already too late? --Born2cycle (talk) 19:22, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

I wholeheartedly agree, and I boldly updated WP:PRECISION to make the point about avoiding overprecision in titles; comments/improvements welcome. Let me know if I can help with this issue in any way, and if I see moves that need to be reversed I will do so. UnitedStatesian (talk) 19:05, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I has raised the issue of primary topic being ignored on several occasions. It seems that I am one of a few editors who seems concerned. Vegaswikian (talk) 22:17, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps I'm mistaken, but you don't seem to be much of a defender of the primary topic guideline when the topic in question is a U.S. city. When U.S. cities are automatically predabbed at [[Cityname, Statename]], a practice I believe you continue to support, they lose consideration in determinations about whether some other use of the same name is the primary topic for that name. That's one of the reasons it's difficult to argue that there is no primary use for Harris at Talk:Harris (e.g., PMAnderson has argued that "nothing else is normally called plain Harris", despite all the U.S. cities named Harris), and is probably why Plymouth remains the city in England, and is not a dab page. --Born2cycle (talk) 19:22, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, the US settlement naming conventions makes sense for many reasons and simply doesn't create problems. In addition one could argue that they in fact do represent common usage as well as well as primary usage. While I consider these conventions as a style sheet and not pre disambiguation, you don't. I should also note that when using the AP guidelines for some cities was added, this had an interesting effect in that it should have also been applied to all of the other cities in that they should be used with the state. So to answer your question, yes, I will bend to a specific naming convention that makes sense. These are not like radio stations where you could have QQQQ, QQQQ (AM), QQQQ-FM or QQQQ (FM) depending on other factors or calling the Great Basin Bristlecone Pine which is the oldest tree on earth and a name that everyone know it as by the relatively unknown Pinus longaeva. Vegaswikian (talk) 21:07, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
What you and I consider does not matter nearly as much as what the guidelines say. In this case, WP:NCDAB says:
With place-names, if the disambiguating term is a higher-level administrative division, it is often separated using a comma instead of parentheses, as in Windsor, Berkshire. See Wikipedia:Naming conventions (settlements).
So, per the disambiguation guideline page, it is disambiguation to add a disambiguating term that is a higher-level administrative division (like a state), by definition. Also by definition, if you add a disambiguating term in the title to the name of a topic, when the topic of the article is the primary topic for that name undabbed, and so disambiguation is not necessary, it is predisambiguation. As to the problems this causes, I gave you two recent examples above, and these are just the tip of the iceberg. Also, even if predabbing of U.S. cities caused only a few problems directly, predisambiguation in any one area serves to legitimize the practice in other areas too, which serves to accelerate the erosion of the efficacy of the general naming guidelines throughout Wikipedia, including spreading the notion that, essentially, specialized guidelines can do whatever they want, including contradict the general guidelines, such as WP:PRIMARYTOPIC (look no further than the comment from Wwoods below for an example of how prevalent this belief has become). I can imagine no stronger statement in support of the need to respect and be consistent with the general guidelines, than to put all articles about U.S. cities that are the primary topic of their names at [[Cityname]]. Only then it could be argued that special naming guidelines must complement, not contradict, the general naming guidelines, for which the U.S. city specialized naming convention is the flagship example. --Born2cycle (talk) 22:08, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
Specialized guidelines necessarily take precedence over general guidelines. —WWoods (talk) 08:14, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
The is also a problem that needs to be considered. Take heavy metal as an example. It depends on ones cultural outlook. For those interested popular music it is obvious. But for those who are not it is not as clear cut as that. The section Wikipedia:Naming conventions#Be precise when necessary covers this --PBS (talk) 10:42, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, that's the crux of it. Do specialized guidelines take precedence over general guidelines, or do they "pick up the slack", so to speak. What I mean by the latter is that specialized guidelines provide additional guidance when the general guidelines are insufficient. With the latter approach, specialized guidelines complement rather than contradict the general guidelines. --Born2cycle (talk) 20:14, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Album vs. title track

If an album and its title track both have articles, I usually don't add a qualifer to the album, and add "(song)" to the name of the song's article (e.g. Brand New Girlfriend and Brand New Girlfriend (song)). Is this the standard pattern for cases like this? Is there any standard for cases like this? Ten Pound Hammer and his otters • (Broken clamshellsOtter chirpsHELP) 20:01, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

The standard is the same as for all WP articles: If the name has a primary topic, then the article about that topic should be at the name alone, and the other should be at that name disambiguated. If there is no primary topic then a dab page should be at the name alone. However, when there are only two topics, then it's reasonable to pick the "more important" (even if it does not meet primary topic criteria) for the name alone, and link to the other through a hat note. So then, how do you decide which is "more important"? Arguably, the song usually comes into existence first, and the album is simply named after one of the songs on the album. Further, isn't it true that the song is usually better known than the album? So I think I would lean in favor of putting the song at the name alone, and dabbing the article tile about the album (Name (album)). But there are always exceptions, where maybe the album becomes much better known than the song that is its namesake. The album may be sufficiently notable to be on Wikipedia, but not the song, for example. In short, I don't think there is a convention, and I don't think there should be one. Most things should be considered on a case by case basis, and I think your question falls into that category. In each case the editor should do the work of figuring out which, in that case, should be at name alone, and which should be dabbed. Don't avoid that necessary and useful work by seeking a mindless convention. --Born2cycle (talk) 01:34, 6 December 2008 (UTC)


If someone can fix the broken link to the list of conjunctions, then I won't have to report a broken link in the monthly WP:Update. This was kind of complicated; there was an older list of conjunctions that got deleted, then the link got redirected somehow to FANBOYS, then that link was changed on Nov 7 ... still, I'd prefer not to have to report on broken links in a content policy, it doesn't look right. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 16:27, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Common subset names

I'm having repeated battles over some articles where the common use of a term is a subset of the general meaning. The argument I make (always successfully so far) is that the wikipedia is a general work, and therefore needs to cover all examples of a term, not just the most common usage.

For example:

normally taken to mean 'piston engine' but also covers Wankel engine
the general definition includes gas turbines, jet engines, ramjets and rockets
we ended up using the general definition
normally taken to mean turbojet or turbofan
general definition includes anything emitting a jet to move, ramjet jet boat rocket engine
we ended up using the general definition
normally taken to mean a piston engine powered by steam
but lots of steam ships and power generation uses steam powered gas turbines
we ended up using the general definition

Current discussion:

normally taken to mean sailplane
general definition includes anything gliding, but a glider is normally something intended to glide including the Space Shuttle
discussion is ongoing...

I personally think in situations like this we have little choice but to use the general definition; and I loathe having to battle it out each time, I get personally attacked and it causes all manner of ill-will all round.

Is it agreed that it is desirable to preferentially use the general definition wherever at all reasonable? If so I'll add it as policy. Can anyone think of a clear counter-example?- (User) Wolfkeeper (Talk) 18:59, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree the general definition should be used when possible. As another example, consider Hollywood (which is currently unfortunately a redirect to the unnecessarily precise Hollywood, Los Angeles, California; see Talk:Hollywood, Los Angeles, California for a discussion about fixing this) in which the district of L.A. as well as its closely related use as metonym is covered. --Born2cycle (talk) 20:28, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't consider that it would apply in situations where they're not a strict subset/superset; I think in the example you give Hollywood the place and Hollywood the industry aren't subsets, one's geographical and the other is business related. I would probably lean to Hollywood being the studio system on popularity grounds though.- (User) Wolfkeeper (Talk) 23:32, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
How would you propose we should modify WP:NAME#Use the most easily recognized name? - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 19:30, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I think we should simply clarify that the bit that says "with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity" means that where a general sense is reasonably well known that it should be used in preference to any subset/restricted sense, even if that restricted sense may be somewhat more common, otherwise we'd just be encouraging ambiguity.- (User) Wolfkeeper (Talk) 02:34, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
In the case of glider for example, if you ask almost anyone whether a paper aeroplane is a glider, they will say yes, but it is a glider in the general sense, not the restricted sense of sailplane, so the generality rule would make glider be the general concept rather than sailplane concept.- (User) Wolfkeeper (Talk) 02:36, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
It wouldn't apply if it was truly an obscure usage though.- (User) Wolfkeeper (Talk) 02:36, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (flora)

Not sure if this is directly related to the examples given above, but why does Wikipedia:Naming conventions (flora) appear to get a blanket exemption from using common names? Recently many articles have been moved from the common name to the scientific name. Just a few examples: Joshua tree to Yucca brevifolia; White oak to Quercus alba; Bur oak to Quercus macrocarpa. It is understandable that the scientific name might be preferred in cases where there is no single well-known common name or where the common name is ambiguous. But it just seems wrong to systematically prefer the scientific name, even in cases where there is a well-established, unambiguous common name. olderwiser 19:16, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. Check out Poison oak for an example of that. WP:UCN is completely ignored. Another fairly recent example of WP:UCN being ignored is the failed move proposal of Public housePub at Talk:Public house. Turns out that "pub" is an abbreviation of "public house", and that's good material for the article, but clearly the most common term is "pub" (and Pub redirects to Public house), and so, per WP:UCN, that should be the title. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:43, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree with older≠wiser, and suggested on Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (flora) to that the two first paragraphs from Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(astronomical_objects)#General_guidelines or something similar should be included in the flora guideline, but some of the editors are resisting a {{disputedtag}} on the guideline, "your presonal objection is not worthy of a dispute tag being added to a policy page that was adopted by the community, and which clearly has strong support.", while we talk about changes to the page (let alone any other changes to the page). I would appreciate it if some others would explain the the guideline must be in compliance with the Naming Convention policy, or else it leads to needless disharmony over article naming. --PBS (talk) 20:06, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

This issue should be raised at the Village pump/policy. I started a discussion over there, at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Wikipedia:Naming conventions (flora). UnitedStatesian (talk) 20:53, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Joshua Tree update

The proposal to move the article at Yucca brevifolia back to Joshua Tree was rejected due to supposed lack of consensus, despite voting to be 2:1 in favor of the restoration, and the fact that it was moved unilaterally from Joshua Tree without any discussion much less establishment of consensus only last month.

This is another victim of the belief that specific conventions should trump general guidelines (rather than specific conventions should complement, and not contradict, general guidelines). --Born2cycle (talk) 18:50, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

No it isn't. Hesperian 03:02, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Unnecessary precision: Bounty

There is a proposal getting a lot of support to move Bounty (ship) to a name with considerably more (unnecessary) precision here:

--Born2cycle (talk) 19:18, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

"Rock 'n' Roll Train" or "Rock N Roll Train"

AC/DC's new single "Rock 'n' Roll Train" (short discussion at talk page), should it be titled as the CD cover says ("Rock N Roll Train"), the vinyl cover says ("Rock N' Roll Train") or how i would write it with the apostrphes representing the two missing letters, this is what seems most correct to me. I suppose this issue is also connected to Rock 'n' Roll and Guns N' Roses, i am beginning to assume the title should be written as trademarked, because changing where the apostrophes are is changing the trademark? So, i am not sure, please review the issue, thanks! k-i-a-c (hitmeup - the past) 10:44, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm thinking the article's title should reflect how it is shown on album credits (for example Hot N Cold - no apostrophes), although on the song's Talk Page I added links to images of the vinyl album and CD cover scans - one has an apostrophe and no space (Rock N'Roll) and the other has none (Rock N Roll). - eo (talk) 12:31, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Okay since this place has been absolutely no help, where should i go to get a reply? k-i-a-c (hitmeup - the past) 08:22, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't know. Anyway, my opinion: It's not the job of Wikipedia to interpret song titles in any way, but to documentate them. -- (talk) 17:38, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to common names statement

Common names currently states:

Convention: Except where other accepted Wikipedia naming conventions give a different indication, use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things; use the naming conflict guideline when there is a conflict. Where articles have descriptive names, the given name must be neutrally worded and must not carry POV implications.

The first clause, "Except where other accepted Wikipedia naming conventions give a different indication", unnecessarily leaves the names of myriads of articles open to endless debate. The root issue is whether specialized conventions should complement or contradict the more general conventions like "use the most common name". After being involved in countless discussions about article names, I'm convinced that if specialized conventions complemented, and did not contradict, the more general conventions, we would have much more clarity on how articles should be named. A good first step in moving towards that direction would be to remove that first clause to create:

Convention: Use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things; use the naming conflict guideline when there is a conflict. Where articles have descriptive names, the given name must be neutrally worded and must not carry POV implications.

By the way, this clause was added with no discussion, so far as I can tell, about two years ago in this change. Prior to that it simply said: "Use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things.".

If no one objects (if you do, please explain why), I will edit the page accordingly. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) would have to be updated accordingly, of course. --Born2cycle (talk) 02:06, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

I support the sentiment that specific naming conventions ought not contradict these general ones. But rather than simply removing the sentence, it may be better to recast it into a statement to the effect that specific conventions give guidance on how these general conventions are best applied within a particular field or domain.
A related issue is that there seems to be a tendency to put "use the most common name" alone on a pedestal, whereas it is really one of many priorities, some others being accuracy, non-ambiguity, neutrality, and consistency. I would like the first clause to be more explicit in recognising that there are multiple priorities.
Hesperian 03:01, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm glad we agree that specific naming conventions ought not contradict these general ones.

With respect to accuracy, WP:PRECISION specifically calls for more accuracy only when necessary; I know of no justification for veering from the most common name in the name of more accuracy. Non-ambiguity is a well understood problem and is addressed by WP:D and WP:PRIMARYUSAGE. Neutrality is addressed in the current and proposed wording. I don't know of any general guidelines that call for consistency explicitly, especially for consistency in naming within a given field or domain. In fact, the underlying problem I'm trying to address here is the contradictory notion that consistency of naming within a field trumps using the most common name for some given article.

Anyway, how about this:

Convention: Use the most common name of a person or thing when it does not conflict with the names of other people or things; when there is a conflict, use the naming conflict guideline to resolve it, which includes referring to more specific guidelines for disambiguation guidance. Where articles have descriptive names, the given name must be neutrally worded and must not carry POV implications.

--Born2cycle (talk) 05:05, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

No; that wording constrains specific guidelines to offering guidance on disambiguation alone. In addition to providing domain-specific guidance on disambiguation strategies, specific conventions may provide guidance on other aspects of the naming conventions, such as domain-specific strategies for achieving sufficient precision; domain knowledge on the relative common-ness of names; or advice on avoiding certain domain-specific terminology that betrays a subtle POV.
For example, the WikiProject Birds naming convention should have every right to say "because of the widespread adoption of standardised common names, the standard common name of a bird is invariably the name in most common use. Therefore, the standard common name should be used as the title for all bird articles."
Hesperian 06:05, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that wording constrains specific guidelines to offering guidance on disambiguation alone. If the general guidelines indicate a name without disambiguation issues, what role can the more specific guidelines possibly have except to contradict the outcome of the general guidelines?
such as domain-specific strategies for achieving sufficient precision - if the name indicated by the general guidelines requires no disambiguation, how is it possible that the precision achieved is insufficient? Why would more precision be necessary?
domain knowledge on the relative common-ness of names I don't understand how determining common-ness of usage of names might vary from domain to domain. The topic of determining common-ness is covered at length at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names), including the section Do not overdo it which covers the issues of avoiding most common names that are misleading (like Tidal wave).
advice on avoiding certain domain-specific terminology that betrays a subtle POV - I'm inclined to give you this one, except what it ultimately means is that the most common name used to refer to a particular topic might not be used because it "betrays a subtle POV". That has got to be a very rare exception. I certainly can't think of any examples. Can you? Anyway, I'm willing to flesh out the last sentence to indicate this utility of the more specific guidelines.
Ultimately, leaving the impression that specific guidelines can override the general conventions is opening the Pandora's box I think we should be trying to close. Limiting the scope of specific guidelines to only those situations in which disambiguation is required is probably the only way to close it, and keep it closed. --Born2cycle (talk) 18:32, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Use of racial or ethnic prefix to nationality of subject biography: African-American, etc. vs American

The use of race and ethnicity prefix descriptors seems arbitrary. If the intent is to give nationality, then racial or ethnic prefix is inappropriate. For example, below is an extract from 1940, Births:

snip: October 23 - Pelé, Brazilian footballer
October 25 - Bobby Knight, American basketball coach
October 27 - John Gotti, American gangster (d. 2002)
November 1 - Ramesh Chandra Lahoti, Chief Justice of India
November 12 - Glenn Stetson, Canadian singer ("The Diamonds")
November 15 - Sam Waterston, American actor (Law and Order)
November 15 - Roberto Cavalli, Italian designer
November 17 - Luke Kelly, Irish ballad singer (The Dubliners)
November 21 - Richard Marcinko, U.S. Navy SEAL team member and author
November 25 - Joe Gibbs, American football coach
November 27 - Bruce Lee, Chinese-American martial artist and actor (The Green Hornet) (d. 1973)
November 29 - Chuck Mangione, famous American flugelhorn player
December 1 - Richard Pryor, African-American actor and comedian (d. 2005)
end snip:

Pele not listed as African-Brazilian
Knight not listed as White-American
Gotti not listed as Italian-American
Stetson not listed as Scottish-Canadian or Ulster-Scottish-Canadian

On the other hand:
Lee listed as Chinese-American (he was born in the San Francisco.)
Mangione listed as "famous" as opposed to the many obscure American flugelhorn players catalogued in Wikipedia?
Pryor listed as African-American.

Is there any policy that can explain the various distinctions? I suggest all non-nationality qualifiers be saved for the subjects biography page.

Ebesch1 (talk) 03:55, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Another aspect of this is categorization. WP:CATEGORY says that we should only use categories to reflect what is in the text. So if a subject is not identified in the text as an "African American", then we should not categorize him or her that way. So, if not in the lead then where? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 19:44, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Question about applicability

Born2cycle has implied here (and I admit that I might have misconstrued) that the statement "Wikipedia determines the recognizability of a name by seeing what verifiable reliable sources in English call the subject," is not as important as the statement "Generally, article naming should prefer what the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature." I'd like some clarification from other editors; is the use of reliable sources in determining the common name not as important as a "Google test"?--Curtis Clark (talk) 20:04, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

The statement on reliable sources is a (relatively recent) guide to how to execute the statement on most easily recognize, which is - and always has been - the purpose of this convention. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:12, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
So let me get this straight. Because two editors interpret the statement about reliable sources to be a "guide" (despite it being part of a policy), and because Wikipedia:Reliable sources is itself a guideline and not a policy, it is permissible to simply attest that a name is the commonest? I'd be interested in a third opinion from an editor not involved in the discussion about the flora guidelines.--Curtis Clark (talk) 20:21, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Curtis, as I explained at the flora talk page, I did not say nor mean to imply that one statement is more important than the other, though I'm curious what I wrote that caused you to think I did.
Anyway, I think that the only reasonable way to interpret the two statements is such that they are complementary rather than contradictory. Therefore, the way one determines "what the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize" is by "seeing what verifiable reliable sources in English call the subject". In other words, what determines "what the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize" is "what verifiable reliable sources in English call the subject". The assumption is that English speakers are influenced by these sources.
I too would like to know what others think. --Born2cycle (talk) 08:40, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
My understanding is that "what the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize" is unknowable and unmeasurable—an unattainable ideal. One can imagine a great many metrics by which to approximate the answer, and we could argue until the cows come home over which metric is best. Fortunately this policy tells us which metric to use: "Wikipedia determines the recognizability of a name by seeing what verifiable reliable sources in English call the subject." Hesperian 10:34, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't see any contradiction between whatBorn2cycle and Hesperian have written here. Reliable sources is not defined in this policy it is defined in the WP:V policy by linking verifiable reliable sources to WP:SOURCES, it is not linked to the guideline WP:RS. This was a useful explicit addition to the naming conventions policy because when the original Naming Convention was written WP:V did not exist, but it is a principle of Wikipedia that policies must not be read in isolation and so it would be very silly if this policy, using unreliable sources (eg internet forum) was in conflict with the content policies so that the name of the article was not used in the text of an article. All that was done with the additional sentence was to make explicit what implied by taking the content policies and the naming conventions policy as a whole. Making it explicit (including the use of English sources) solved lots of problems with blog sites in foreign languages being used to justify page names. --PBS (talk) 21:08, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

I have a problem with the requirement that sources be in English. There are some things in this world that are not well known (perhaps not known at all) by English speakers; what then? --Una Smith (talk) 06:44, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

If there are no English language sources at all then presumably most English speaking people will not have heard of it. A question of notability comes into it, but see WP:NONENG and Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use English)#No_established usage. An example that came up last year was a battle for which the editors had not found an English source and the translated name was different between Polish and Lithuanian! The best we can do in such cases is either agree on the talk page of the article to use a descriptive name, or fall back on "the name used by the first major contributor after the article ceased to be a stub." --PBS (talk) 11:21, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Inconsistency in titles such as kilometre, milliampere, etc.

Please see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Physics/Article titles about multiples and submultiples of units. -- Army1987 – Deeds, not words. 18:09, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

RfC on voting as a component of consensus

There is an ongoing Request for Comment at WT:Requested moves#Moving or renaming articles based on poll results. The aim of the RfC is to determine whether and to what extent a majority of editors can be seen to represent a consensus, in the context of page/article moves. Note that this is a policy and not a content issue/dispute. All considered opinions on the nature of consensus are welcome.--Aervanath lives in the Orphanage 03:27, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Units of measure

It would be good to have a formal guideline for the disambiguating phrase to use with units of measure. Currently, most such articles are disambiguated as "(unit)", but a number use "(quantity)" (where quantity = "mass", "length", etc.), a few use "(unit of quantity)", and a couple use something else entirely. For some of the more obscure units, it probably doesn't matter much, but for key SI units, such as pascal or newton with hundreds of incoming links, it seems fairly important to have a stable and predictable naming system, backed by a reasonable consensus. So let's hear some opinions. For consistency, if possible, please label your !vote as unit, quantity, unit of quantity, no convention (i.e., a formal naming guideline would not be desirable), or other (explain). For the purpose of this discussion, let's ignore units and pseudo-units perhaps better disambiguated as (domain), e.g., cent (music) or pinch (cooking), and stick to measurements of physical quantities.

  • Unit. It's short to type, easy to remember, and avoids potential disagreements on what exactly to call the quantity. For example, though stone is nominally a unit of "(mass)", it's virtually always used in the sense of a "(weight)". Is knot a unit of "(velocity)" (per Category:Units of velocity) or "(speed)" (per its most common use)? Other quantities have long or awkward names: do we want henry (unit), henry (electrical inductance) (per Category:Units of electrical inductance), or henry (inductance)? Should it be gauss (unit) or gauss (magnetic flux density)? While there is something to be said for having the disambiguator indicate what kind of quantify is being measured, the vast majority of units do not have a disambiguator at all, so the phrase should just suffice to distinguish the unit from other meanings of the term. In the (very rare) case of ambiguous unit names that cannot be otherwise resolved (e.g., pound (force) currently redirects to the arguably more accurate pound-force), I'm fine with either "(quantity unit)" or "(unit of quantity)" as the disambiguator. Hqb (talk) 11:20, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Unit with any necessary further disambig being "Unit of X" (eg "Minute (unit of time)" and "Minute (unit of angular size)"). "Unit" is the most generic term and requires no pre-existing knowledge of what the term actually measures. This doesn't mean redirects can't be added (they are cheap). --MASEM 11:55, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Unit. I think it's a sufficiently unambiguous shorthand for unit of measure. If there is more than one unit possible, it could be further disambiguated, as in "pound (unit of mass)" versus "pound (unit of force)".RockyMtnGuy (talk)
  • Unit. Of great value for hassle-free linking, and I don't see a downside. what Gene says below makes sense. But it would seem important to fix all the redirects.--Curtis Clark (talk) 18:30, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Unit. As far as I know, this must be a rather consistent convention here since that is what I would have typed to find it. Greg L (talk) 22:00, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Leave as is. Much of this has already been done—and we aren't likely to be inventing a whole bunch of new units of measure deserving a Wikipedia article which do not already have one. Most of the rest of what the original poster raised (e.g., "it seems fairly important to have a stable and predictable naming") is easily handled by redirects; make sure that the appropriate ones exist. Foot (unit) works just fine, for example.
  • The fact that newton (unit) doesn't link to the proper article is just due to idiots moving articles around haphazardly and not fixing the redirects properly. You are just leaving the door open for more idiocy along the same lines if you try to make wholesale changes in what exists now. Fix that one on an individual case basis by moving from the verbose disambiguation now used to newton (unit) and check any other redirects to the mess someone has created, otherwise leave well enough alone. Gene Nygaard (talk) 00:09, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
  • And look here for an example of what some well-intentioned editor did when trying to fix the problems of improperly linking newton (unit) to a disambiguation page, using the edit summary "(WikiCleaner 0.85 - Repairing link to disambiguation page - You can help!)". Needless to say, the disambiguation was botched. But there was absolutely no reason to lay this trap in front of any editor in the first place. Gene Nygaard (talk) 00:18, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Comment I'm not necessarily arguing for actively moving all existing disambiguators to a uniform scheme; but I think a standard naming convention is still needed, precisely to discourage random moves like the recent newton (unit)newton (unit of force) (which should probably be undone before it gets too entrenched). Also, while we should not expect many articles on brand new units, several of the currently undisambiguated names might still be turned into dab pages or redirects to the unit's namesake, as has in fact happened to both Newton and Pascal. While the merits of any such move should of course be discussed individually, a general guideline would at least make sure that if, say, becquerel were to be moved, it would be to becquerel (unit) rather than to becquerel (radioactivity), becquerel (unit of radioactivity), becquerel (decay rate), or whatever. Anyone moving a page and repurposing its original name is of course responsible for fixing all incoming links (which, indeed, far too many editors don't realize); but that's no different for measurement units than for any other naming convention, so I don't see why it should discourage us from having a guideline at all. Hqb (talk) 10:31, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
You have the facts wrong. The move wasn't from newton (unit); that was a long-standing redirect, which did link to the right article. Then it was changed to link improperly to the newton (disambiguation) when the article to which the "(unit)" redirect used to point was needlessly moved, rather than to the new name of the article to which it used to redirect. Gene Nygaard (talk) 13:01, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
And it wasn't that it Newton was a "currently undisambiguated name" before the recent move; in fact, the Newton (disambiguation) is an page has been there since Time Immemorial (back 7½ years ago, when Wikipedia was a crude infant). It was simply a matter of having the primary disambiguation going to the one thing most likely to be intended if newton standing alone were linked. If the link were intended for a person, for example, it should normally include that person's given name. Likewise, we do already have becquerel (disambiguation) as well—and that page is linked to in a disambiguation hatline in the article which holds the primary disambiguation slot for this name.
Like I said above, the fact that becquerel (unit) is a redlink as I write this should be fixed by creating the appropriate redirect to becquerel. I'll do it tomorrow, if no one has beaten me to it; I'll leave it red a little while here for clarity. Gene Nygaard (talk) 13:15, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment. Now I've looked into it a little bit more, and I'm just downright pissed off at the lunacy of the people who moved Newton to Newton (unit of force). We should not do anything which would encourage more of this nonsense.
  1. The double redirects haven't even been fixed. That is something you are reminded to do every time you make an article move. So now if you click on a link to meganewtons, you get stuck on a page where you need to click on another link to get to an actual article.
    1. And when you do click on that link, you don't get taken to the page you want, but rather to a disambiguation page where you need to do your own hunting around to find the link you are really looking for.
  2. The move has improperly left hundreds of unfixed links to a disambiguation page. Gene Nygaard (talk) 13:30, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
  • I undid the move. -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:41, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Just to clarify, then, is your leave as is really the same as the current no convention, i.e., editors should continue to use whatever they feel like for the disambiguating phrase in unit names? The reason being, if there is any designated such phrase (like "(film)" or "(band)" in other areas), people will just improperly move pages to conform to it, without fixing incoming links? If so, is the implication that naming conventions in general are a bad thing, or that unit names are somehow particularly vulnerable to this problem? Nobody is arguing that existing pages with a primary (or sole) meaning as a unit name should be moved to "(unit)"; I just want to make sure that, given the expressed preferences above, the article about newtons ends up at either newton or newton (unit), rather than at newton (unit of force) or newton (force), and likewise for becquerel, etc. Hqb (talk) 14:23, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
They aren't particularly vulnerable to the problem.
Or rather, the vulnerability has been pretty much dealt with. Much of this has already been done. There was a lengthy discussion of it somewhere. I think it was most likely on Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers). Somebody with more ambition than I have should go wade through the old archives there and try to find it.
But things like ton (unit) should never be anything other than a disambiguation page--which is essentially what ton is, disambiguating a ton of different units with that name, with further disambiguation in the non–units of measure sense at ton (disambiguation).
Same for pound (unit), a link which redirects to the general disambiguation page for pound; that's why one (well, actually several different units of mass, including avoirdupois pound, troy pound, tower pound, and a number of others) are at pound (mass), the unit of force is at pound-force (disambiguated that way because it should generally be visibly disambiguated in the articles as well).
This isn't a one-size fits all issue. Somebody really should go try to dig up the old, lengthy discussion when many of these were changed. One clue as to the time of this discussion is that one of the moves involved then was to change foot (unit of length) to foot (length), if my memory serves me right. That took place on 24 October 2007. Gene Nygaard (talk) 08:50, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
You're probably referring to Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)/Archive 89#Article titles for units, which unfortunately looks like it ended without any definite conclusions. But the examples given by User:Lightmouse reiterate that it's much more of a zoo out there than it needs to be. The problem is actually not so much with terms that (among possible other meanings) have a single, well-defined sense as a unit, such as pascal or newton: it seems that those articles should naturally reside either at "unitname" or "unitname (unit)" (unless someone still wants to champion "unitname (quantity)" as the general convention in such cases), though possibly with "unitname (quantity)" as a redirect in cases where it seems useful: inch (length)inch is probably a good idea; Tesla (magnetic flux density)Tesla (unit) might not be. The real question is then what to do about the truly problematical cases where "unitname (unit)" is itself ambiguous or inappropriate for some reason. I'm starting a list of such hard cases below, to make sure that any emerging policy can take them into account. Hqb (talk) 17:35, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

How about this for a guideline: For every unit of measure, there should exist a page Unitname (unit), either as a redirect or as the article name. Articles should never be moved to accommodate this; redirects should be created instead. New articles about units should be given the form Unitname if the name is unambiguous; otherwise, Unitname (unit) should be used, unless there is compelling reason for a different name. If a new article is given a name other than Unitname (unit), the redirect should be created at the same time.--Curtis Clark (talk) 16:56, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Not bad, except that new articles should only be named Unitname (unit) if disambiguation is necessary for Unitname. olderwiser 17:02, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Okay, I changed the wording above, to make the diff available.--Curtis Clark (talk) 18:23, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

I assume you don't literally mean "never move [say] Hasta (measure) to Hasta (unit)"; how is that different from moving any other non-standardly named article, like Transformers (movie) to Transformers (film), to follow the disambiguation guidelines in that domain? Simple moves are not the problem; but what should never happen is that the redirect created by such a move then gets overwritten by a dab page, or a (redirect to a) different article, breaking incoming links in the process. Of course, the best way of preventing that is to actually update all incoming links at the time of the move, which is fortunately trivial for most obscure or newly created articles. We could perhaps make it a formal requirement when moving any unit page, if there's a good case to be made that link-breaking is more of a problem for units than for other kinds of articles. Hqb (talk) 18:37, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
I think Gene (above) may have a different view. I'm good with either way.--Curtis Clark (talk) 03:13, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
As for Unitname (unit), how about: if there is a Unitname (disambiguation) (or an equivalent hatnote at Unitname) , then there should also be a Unitname (unit) (either as the actual article name, or as a redirect). Otherwise, we would seem to require creating dubious extra redirects like Hvat (unit)Hvat or hectometre (unit)Hectometre, that are extremely unlikely to ever be used. Hqb (talk) 19:19, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure how the disambiguation pages fit into this, but as for your last statement, redirects are cheap, and if every unit has a Unitname (unit) form, every link to Unitname (unit) will succeed. And whereas Hvat and Hectometre don't need disambiguation, Newton should arguably be a disambiguation page rather than the unit (I'd argue for leaving it where it is, but I'm a scientist; a historian might suggest that it go to the person, just as Pascal does).--Curtis Clark (talk) 03:13, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
All I'm saying that if the term Unitname has any other meaning than as the unit (whether or not that's the primary meaning), there should be a Unitname (unit), but for terms whose sole meaning is a unit, there's no reason to preemptively create additional redirects, just like we don't automatically create Filmname (film) for every single film, or Bandname (band) for every single band. I have yet to hear a reasoned argument for why articles about units of measurement in particular should be treated any differently with respect to moving or preemptive disambiguation – all I wanted to resolve in this poll was whether the standard disambiguation phrase should be "(unit)", "(quantity)", "(unit of quantity)", or nothing in particular. Hqb (talk) 08:02, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Okay, sorry, I misunderstood.--Curtis Clark (talk) 20:54, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

List of ambiguous unit names

This is a list of unit names for which a title of the form "unitname (unit)" might be problematic. The intent is to develop a sensible naming convention covering at least some of these cases, if possible (or to conclude, on a factual basis, that the situation is truly hopeless).

Currently very incomplete; feel free to expand.

Note that having two or more units sharing a name is in principle no different from other dab situations. In particular, if one sense is much more common or important than the other, the primary meaning can still sensibly reside at "unitname (unit)", and the other(s) at "unitname (clarifier unit)" with a hatnote, as in Stone (unit) vs. Stone (Chinese unit). Some of the examples in the list above might fall into this category. Hqb (talk) 17:55, 3 January 2009 (UTC)


  • Mcf (1000 cubic feet, or 1,000,000 cubic feet, depending on whether "M" stands for Latin mille or Greek mega)
  • ounce (mass, force, or fluid ounce, US or imperial, avoirdupois or troy)
  • barrel (US oil, US beer, US dry, imperial)
  • ton (register ton, displacement ton, freight ton, refrigeration ton, nuclear explosion ton)
  • calorie (gram calorie, kilogram calorie)
  • dram (avoirdupois, apothecary, or fluid dram)
  • cable (US mariner, British Admiralty, or metric)
  • hundredweight (long or short)
  • inch (length, in HG, in WC)
  • tablespoon (US, imperial, Commonwealth metric, Australian)
  • teaspoon (US, imperial, Commonwealth metric)
  • yard (length, cloth area, cubic)

RockyMtnGuy (talk) 20:28, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Even RockyMtnGuy's additions for tons have only scratched the surface. The short, long, and metric tons have all spun off force units in addition to the standard mass units; "refrigeration tons" might be either units of energy or units of power; other energy units include various tons of oil equivalent, tons of coal equivalent, etc. Gene Nygaard (talk) 05:14, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Isn't there also a Heavy lourde? Just kidding. However, I believe that when the tons are metric, they are spelled "tonne". Bob the Wikipedian (talkcontribs) 03:47, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Simple question

Simple question which honestly most of you probably don't care about the subject for (professional wrestling), but i'm asking anyway to end a conflict: should articles be named by their given name or by a wikiprojects manual of style? Wrestling promotion Ring of Honor held a pay-per-view event which they titled "Rising Above 2008" but shortened on promotional posters to simply "Rising Above", which is also the same named use for another pay-per-view they taped in 2007. Rising Above 2008 was filmed in November 2008 and is airing in January 2009. The official name for the event as given by Ring of Honor is "Rising Above 2008", however it is WikiProject Professional wrestling's policy not to go by what they titled it. Instead, it has been changed to Rising Above (2009) because it is being aired in 2009. So my question is should the article be title by what the promotion who held the event named it (Rising Above 2008) or by what the wikiproject says it should be named ("Rising Above (2009)")? Nenog (talk) 13:20, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Wine and viticulture

See also Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Wine#Glossary of wine terms

I may have jumped the gun by inserting a section and guideline sentence at Wikipedia:Naming conventions#Wine and viticulture, not realizing this might be the place to propose such things first. The line refers to what has long been (mostly) the practice at WP:WINE, but would be nice to have in writing, and better avoid new anomalies. Are there other important issues we should consider? MURGH disc. 00:19, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

I am going to place it in a new section called Proposed conventions, so that we can see if there is a consensus for it, it can be move up once there is.
How does this convention fit in with "WP:NC#Use the most easily recognized name" and the general "WP:NC#General conventions"? It would seem to me to fall foul of WP:PRECISION (see also WP:DAB.--PBS (talk) 09:55, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
It seems to a few of us preoccupied with the topic of wine, to fit nicely with WP:COMMONNAME. As for as the WP:PRECISION guideline, we opt for the "not overly precise" bit, as we were getting a host of variants on the same theme. But yes, there are surely many cases more where (wine) is the less appropriate DAB choice, other than just the two exceptions mentioned, and we'd like to define more of those. But at least as far as a unifier of (wine writer), (wine critic), (wine authority), (wine columnist), (wine correspondent) it seems functional. MURGH disc. 11:21, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Template naming conventions

I've suggested standardizing template naming, at Wikipedia talk:Template namespace#Template naming conventions. If you're frustrated with typing template names and constantly guessing at the right capitalization and spacing, please chime in. Michael Z. 2009-01-10 17:48 z

Reverting changes

Just as a general rule (because this annoys me every time it happens), there doesn't have to be a talk page discussion before every change of wording, as implied in Philip's edit summary, particularly if it's a stylistic change only. So while you are perfectly entitled to revert, I think it would be more helpful for discussion if you gave your actual reason for reverting (i.e. why you think the edit was unhelpful), because the statement that there has to be discussion beforehand is just incorrect. It quite often turns out in practice (on policy pages in particular) that people have just reverted blindly because they wrongly think everything needs to be pre-discussed, and this disrupts the BRD process since we can't distinguish between cases where there is real opposition necessitating discussion, and where there is only misguided bureaucracy at work. </rant>

All the changes I just made were only intended to make the meaning clearer - if people don't think I've succeeded, or if they think the meaning's been inadvertently changed, then that's fine, revert them, but please say what the objection actually is.--Kotniski (talk) 11:15, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree "lack of discussion" or "insufficient discussion" alone does not justify a revert. A specific objection to the change being reverted should also be provided, either in the edit summary or in the talk page with a note about that in the edit summary. --Born2cycle (talk) 20:28, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Mixed and non-capitalization in personal names

A request for comment has been opened at the talk page of WP:MOSCL, on how the Manual of Style should handle mixed and non-capitalization in personal names. – Cyrus XIII (talk) 20:20, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Talk:Steinerner Steg

An interesting discussion on which name should be used for the disputed region between Austria and Italy deserves a wider and more knowledgeable eye than I can give it. Please take a look. Thanks. --John (talk) 06:05, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Eh, John: there have been tons of discussion about this issue and a consensus as been reached about the naming of the region: Talk:Communes of the province of Bolzano-Bozen, Talk:Province of Bolzano-Bozen/Archive 3: the political entity is named Province of Bolzano-Bozen and for the history section History of Alto Adige-South Tyrol is used: Alto Adige a being a creation of Napoleonic times (and reintroduced after World War I) and the literal translation of Südtirol= South Tyrol. With the important distinction that this term Alto Adige-South Tyrol iy only being used from 1919 onwards.
The problem here is that the IP is editing with an agenda: if you look at his other edits you will see that said IP it is trying to remove all mention of South Tyrol from articles example (which he can do, as the name we have settled on the name of Province of Bolzano-Bozen) but he is also trying to purge the term South Tyroleans from articles and replaces it with German speakers of Bolzano-Bozen [11] - short he has a agenda and he is aggressive and insulting in his behaviour, he also likes to remove warnings from his talkpage and edits other users pages in his crusade to remove the term South Tyrol. In short: this is one of the many instances, when someone with an agenda tries to impose his nationalist view on articles related to South Tyrol (and it is so much worse at the German and Italian wiki...) --noclador (talk) 10:48, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Rename proposal (was merge proposal)

For a proposal to rename Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names) to something outside "naming conventions space" (it was previously proposed to merge it with Wikipedia:Naming conventions (places)), please see and comment here.--Kotniski (talk) 16:09, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Isn't WP:NC in conflict with WP:NOR?

At WT:NC (flora) it was just brought to my attention that at the top of WP:NC it states:

Naming conventions are Wikipedia's policy on how to name pages. The conventions are supplemented and explained by the guidelines linked to this policy. This policy should be interpreted in conjunction with other policies and not in isolation. In particular editors should familiarise themselves with the three core content policies Wikipedia:Verifiability, Wikipedia:No original research and Wikipedia:Neutral point of view.

This implies that we must adhere to Wikipedia:No original research when naming articles. I don't see how that is even possible.

Do we not necessarily violate WP:NOR every time we name or rename an article based on our own research (including using WP:GOOGLE) because rarely (if ever) is there a reliable source that clearly shows that a given name is "the most commonly used name" for a given topic, or is "the most easily recognized name"? Are we not violating WP:NOR every time we find a new creative way to disambiguate a title so that it won't conflict with other uses? By its very nature, isn't the process of determining "the most commonly used name" and "the most easily recognized name", not to mention the whole process of disambiguation, a process of original research? Isn't WP:NOR really meant to apply to article content, and not to article naming?

Can we strike the reference of WP:NOR at the top of WP:NC, and, better yet, even explicitly state that WP:NOR necessarily does not apply, and cannot apply, to the process of determining article titles in accordance with WP:NC? --Born2cycle (talk) 20:43, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Bad idea. Article titles need to reflect core Wikipedia policies, and need to be verifiable by reliable sources - as opposed to just made up. First Light (talk) 20:53, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
I suppose NOR still has a role to play in naming; after all, we don't make up completely original names. I think it would make things clearer if WP:OR were amended to make it clear what sort of things are not regarded as forbidden original research - but last time I looked at that page there was a core of hardliners opposed to including anything which might be interpreted as "weakening" that policy, regardless of what actual practice is.--Kotniski (talk) 20:55, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Kotniski, interesting, and good point. I would hope that limiting the exception to the process of article naming would alleviate their concerns. I've posted a note about this at WT:NOR as well. --Born2cycle (talk) 21:04, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
(ec) But First Light, WP editors make up titles all the time, and we must. I just hit SPECIAL:RANDOM and got, Historical U.S. Census Totals for New London County, Connecticut. Where is the reliable source that verifies that name at all for that topic? Hitting random again... how about for Black Creek (Florida)? Is there a reliable source with which we can verify that Black Creek (Florida) is even a commonly used name for that topic, much less the most commonly used name? Tama, Podlaskie Voivodeship? Tughlaq Road? Maybe we can find reliable sources that indicate that some of these are valid names for their respective topics, but where do you find a reliable source that clearly shows that each name is "the most commonly used" for that topic, or is the one that is "the most easily recognized name"? --Born2cycle (talk) 21:04, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
But there are reliable sources for plant names, and those sources almost always show the scientific name, which is why the naming policy (flora) works quite well. First Light (talk) 22:16, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
First, my concern is about the reference to, and implication of, WP:NOR in WP:NC in general, not necessarily just with respect to plant names, even though this issue was brought to my attention at WT:NC (flora). Is your objection ("Bad idea") to my point in general, or only how it applies to plants?
But, yes, flora are reliable sources for plant names, but they are not necessarily reliable sources for determining what WP naming policy requires: "the most easily recognized name" and the name that the "the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize". That can only be determined on a case-by-case basis (and by engaging in what might be considered to be "original research"), just like for any WP article, and may or may not coincide with the Latin name specified as the scientific name by the reliable scientific sources. For relatively well-known plants, the most easily recognized name is unlikely to be the scientific Latin name, except in rare cases such as Aloe vera. --Born2cycle (talk) 23:21, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
WRT Black Creek (Florida), yes. GNIS is pretty much definitive for most US geographic names. Since Black Creek is ambiguous, appending "(Florida)" is an arbitrary convention for disambiguating the title and is not part of the name for the stream. As for Historical U.S. Census Totals for New London County, Connecticut, there is likely to not be any reliable source with a common name for that precise set of data. So long as such descriptive titles are accurate and NPOV, there is no reason to consider the name under OR. olderwiser 23:42, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
GNIS might very well be "pretty much definitive" for stating what the geographic names are officially, but does it explicitly tell us what name is most commonly used to refer to those places, or what name would be most easily recognized? We surmise that they are one and the same, and that's arguably OR. Now, in such a trivial case it seems a petty point, and, well, it is, but it actually illustrates my point: even in the most obvious cases what the reliable sources specify is not what WP:NC requires us to determine. When you have a topic with multiple names, I don't know of a single case in which a verifiable source specifies which is the most common, or which is most likely to be easily recognized. So that determination is almost always, if not always, arguably OR. Same with determining whether a given name has a primary topic. The concept of "primary topic", is, so far as I know, unique to WP, and so the process of determining whether there is a primary topic for a given name, and what it is, is inherently OR. Even the process of disambiguation, by adding dab info in parenthesis to a title, is arguably a creative process, and thus OR too.
I'm not saying any of this is a problem - it has to be that way. Of course. But it is OR, and WP:NC should explicitly acknowledge it and state that it is kosher, so that when an objection is raised based on an argument that following WP:NC to determine an article's name is a violation of WP:NOR, something could be cited to definitely make clear that WP:NOR does not apply when determining which among several candidates is the most commonly used name, which topic, if any, is primary for a given name, how best to disambiguate a name that has multiple conflicting uses, etc. I think WP:NOR should state something to that effect too. --Born2cycle (talk) 01:01, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Re GNIS: in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, it is purely conjecture as to whether some other name is more commonly used. And in the absence of such evidence, it would be OR to assume that any other name is more commonly used. olderwiser 01:21, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, that's not just OR, that's just making stuff up out of whole cloth. Obviously, the determination of what is the most commonly used name, or what is the name most easily recognized, needs to be based on evidence. But that determination is still OR. To put my point in your terms, in the absence of any reliable source that clearly states that the name specified by the GNIS is also the most commonly used name for that place, and the name most likely to be recognized, it is (arguably) OR to assume never-the-less that it is the most commonly used name for that place, and that it is the name most likely to be recognized. Again, I'm not saying that is anything wrong with doing that, just that it is OR, and the WP:NC and WP:NOR should be clear about that being okay. --Born2cycle (talk) 02:02, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
No, not at all. It is an assumption that GNIS is a reliable authority for place names in the US. Choosing a different title that is at odds with a reliable authority would require a significant burden of proof. olderwiser 02:08, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
I accept that GNIS is a reliable authority for place names in the US. That alone doesn't necessarily make the GNIS a reliable authority for most commonly used names. Jumping to that conclusion is arguably OR, though it happens to be a reasonable thing to do in the case of place names because place names tend to have only one name, and, even if they have multiple names, the most common one is almost certain to be coincident with one specified by the GNIS.
I also agree that in this case choosing a different title that is at odds with a particular authority requires a significant burden of proof, especially in a case like place names where the authoritative names and the most commonly recognized names tend to be the same. But that is not always the case, and, in particular, in the case of plant names, the authoritative name (the scientific Latin name) is often at odds with the common English name most commonly used and which is most easily recognized by readers. In those cases there should be just as much burden on proving the authoritative name meets WP:NC criteria (in particular, "most easily recognized") as is put on any other name, don't you agree? --Born2cycle (talk) 02:29, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
This is one of those times when it's good to remember WP:IAR: If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it. I think if folks ever run into a disagreement here, the right answer should be chosen based on producing the best possible encyclopedia that behaves in a way that we think our readers will expect. If we can't reliably ascertain that a particular article name is the primary topic, then a disambiguation page is always a safe answer. You know, sometimes I wish we could easily gather statistics on how often each link in a disambiguation pages is used -- there'd nothing better than actual usage statistics to help guide us in the right direction. Hmmmm... Warren -talk- 01:31, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
"If we can't reliably ascertain that a particular article name is the primary topic, then a disambiguation page is always a safe answer." Absolutely. Funny you should say that. You might be interested in this proposal I just made at WT:D. Anyway, that's a related, but separate issue.
The problem with invoking WP:IAR is that it opens Pandora's Box. For example, the dispute might be about whether the determine the most easily recognized name clause of WP:NC should be ignored because doing so violates WP:NOR. If I argue we should ignore WP:NOR in this case per WP:IAR, then that opens the door for them to cite WP:IAR to ignore the easily recognized name clause. So I don't like to use it. Yes, we all carry the IAR card to ignore "stupid" rules, but that's really only useful when everyone agrees on what rules are "stupid".
Similarly, "the right answer should be chosen based on producing the best possible encyclopedia that behaves in a way that we think our readers will expect." sounds good in theory, but it's full of too many ambiguous and subjective terms ("right", "best possible", "we think our readers will expect"). In fact, in the particular dispute I have in mind, one of the core issues is about what "we think our readers will expect". The botanists and botany-hobbyists think readers will expect scientific Latin names as titles of plant articles, and non-botanists (of the few of us that are involved over there) think common names, at least for relatively well-known plants, are more likely to be expected by our readers. So the botanists are arguing to use "reliable sources" (i.e. scientific flora) to name all plant articles, because anything else, like trying to determining the name most likely to be expected or recognized, is a violation of WP:NOR. That's why I am looking for some explicit clarification on this point at WP:NC and WP:NOR. --Born2cycle (talk) 02:02, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Good points, Born2cycle. I've actually invoked IAR for editing purposes maybe once a year; I like to think of it more as a reminder of what our real purpose is.
On to your concern -- It's generally established that we go with the most widely recognized names rather than the most technically accurate names. Marilyn Monroe instead of Norma Jeane Mortenson; Marilyn Manson instead of Brian Hugh Warner; and so forth. I fully appreciate why a botanist would prefer the Latin names for all articles, but they have to be willing to give a bit of that up for the most popular plants so that we do the best possible job as far as helping non-experts find information. List articles and categories can and should be used to ensure we still have li