Wikipedia talk:Article titles/Archive 9

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Military conflicts and operational names

seeWikipedia:WikiProject Military history#Article names and recent discussion Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history#Using operational names


  • the propagandistic nature of many operation names and
  • the fact that they were chosen just by one side of the conflict, and
  • the fact that often many readers will have no idea what the operation names stands for

operational names should be avoided when describing military conflicts. Instead, the most common name should be used, e.g. Iraq War instead of Operation Iraqi Freedom. If there is none, a descriptive one should be chosen, e.g. United States invasion of Panama instead of Operation Just Cause. Añoranza 11:29, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

This has been thoroughly discussed on Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject Military history#Using operational names and as I pointed out there this is more complicated than that: Sometimes the operation name is the only thing there is to describe the operation e.g. Operation Hurricane (1944) and It would look odd to remove all mention of Operation Market Garden from Wikipedia as that is the name this attack in usually known as.; another few example to do with Soviet World war II operational names, and the use of the same operational name more than once. The current advice given on the Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history#Article names is:
Articles should generally have titles like Battle of Gettysburg or Siege of Nuremberg, since "battle" and "siege" are neutral terms that are preferred to "attack", "slaughter", "massacre", or "raid". Other names can be used, however, if they are the most common ways to refer to the battle (so Attack on Pearl Harbor and Doolittle Raid are acceptable titles).
If disambiguation is needed, the year may be added in parentheses (e.g. Battle of Salamis in Cyprus (306 BC)). Two battles at the same place in the same year should be called "First", "Second", and so forth (e.g. First Battle of Zurich and Second Battle of Zurich).
Operational codenames generally make poor titles, as the codename gives no indication of when or where the battle took place and only represents one side's planning (potentially causing the article to focus on that side's point of view to the detriment of the other). It is better to use an appropriate geographical name for the article, creating a redirect from the operational name. This can be ignored for the most well-known operations (e.g. Operation Barbarossa), but note that even Operation Overlord redirects to Battle of Normandy.
Which I think about covers the issue. --Philip Baird Shearer 11:52, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

So that the discussion can be kept in one place, I suggest that an further discussion on this subject takes place under [[Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history#Using operational names so that parts of the conversation already covered do not have to be repeated here and because most of those interested in the names of military history articles are more likely to watch that page than this one. --Philip Baird Shearer 11:58, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

As at military history project only guidelines are made and many users are not aware of it, the naming conventions talk page is a better place to discuss. Furthermore, the naming conventions do not only apply to article titles but also to texts in articles. But thanks for pointing out that there already has been some talk. As I wrote, if there is no common name, a descriptive one should be chosen. Añoranza 12:13, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Please use the existing locatino where you already participated. Some users have asked questions in regards to comments you have made, this information is rather important to gather and your further participation is appreciated. Unfortunatly it would be quite messy to move that entire discussion here, so we welcome your comments where you have already begun maknig them. Thank you. --zero faults |sockpuppets| 12:17, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
There are occassions where the use of operational names is justified. No blanket policy will cover every scenario. This user is so hell bent on their agenda that any reasoning will not suffice. Each case should be taken on a case by case basis. So far the encyclopedia has been pretty good at determining where and when they apply. I say we keep it as is.--Looper5920 12:20, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I already explained why this is the correct place to discuss. If there are open questions at another page please tell me where on my talk page, I cannot see through that messy other page, last things I saw there were ad hominem attacks. Añoranza 12:28, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
As the above user has pointed out, the discussion is located Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Military_history#Using_operational_names that is a direct link, it will take you to the exact place of the discussion. Only 5 comments have been added since you last participated in that section, so it should not be too hard to locate. Thank you for your cooperation. --zero faults |sockpuppets| 12:30, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
In case it isn't clear, the "Naming conventions" page is for discussing, curiously enough, article names. What you're proposing is quite unrelated to that, since your concern is the use of particular words in article text. Kirill Lokshin 12:32, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
As there currently is no naming convention for miltary conflict articles, this is the right place. If you can point out a further page where naming conventions for article text can be found, that would be appreciated. I would say that the reasoning for article names usually holds for in text names, too. Añoranza 12:59, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
You have already begun discussing this on the MILHIST page, are you stating you will not be participating there further? --zero faults |sockpuppets| 13:00, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
If you're truly curious, the actually relevant page would be Wikipedia:Words to avoid rather than any of the naming convention pages. Nevertheless, it is impolite, at best, to abandon an ongoing discussion in favor of venue shopping simply because you haven't been able to convince anyone of your points. Kirill Lokshin 13:04, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
As I wrote, last thing I saw there were ad hominem attacks, I find the discussion there hard to follow, and I have been repeatedly told that it is not the right place there. Thanks for pointing out "words to avoid". However, as this is also about article names, this is the correct place to discuss them. Añoranza 13:16, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
If you insist on having a discussion here, then please do limit it to the question of article names rather than trying to spread it to issues unrelated to the purpose of this page.
In any case, even if you find the previous discussion hard to follow, there is little excuse for trying to start it over in a new place without so much as a notification in the place where the discussion has been happening all along. Kirill Lokshin 13:22, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, after having been called "ass clown", "POV pusher" and what not I am just fed up with ad hominem attacks. Añoranza 20:18, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Operational names should be allowed wherever they are the most common name to refer to an operation or exercise. Johntex\talk 15:11, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Moreover, in protracted conflicts, temporal or geographic placemarkers aren't generally effective. E.g. U.N. interventions in Somalia. Are we talking about the UN intervention (UNOSOM I & II), or one of the several U.S. operations (Restore Hope I&II, United Shield). Blurring the title into a sentence listing time, place, and major combatants is silly. The most common or most distinct name should be used. --Mmx1 15:31, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
That specific article has been requested to be moved to UNOSOM II. Neutral names must be used. Añoranza 20:18, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
It also been brought up that the Operation Restore Hope article is only about the US portion of the UNOSOM II issue. I keep telling this above user to perhaps make a UNOSOM II article, however they do not seem to want to. THe current article focuses solely on the US involvement, hence why its named after the operation, and not named UNOSOM II, the UNOSOM II article redirects there because there is no UNOSOM II article reffering to only the UN or the UN and all its member nations involvement. One should be created, the current one should not be renamed to something it is not. --zero faults |sockpuppets| 20:22, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
It is currently under a non-neutral term. Furthermore, this is a general discussion, not about any particular article. Añoranza 00:38, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
  • There is, in my opinion, nothing wrong with pointing out a discussion to people who have previously shown interest in such things. People who will take the subject seriously and give well-reasoned replies are always welcome to any discussion, no matter how they happened to run across it in the first place. This is not a straw poll. --Fastfission 17:46, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
  • No, the complaint is that he's trying to restart the central discussion itself in new places every time it becomes apparent that he won't get obliging agreement. Kirill Lokshin 18:00, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

In regards to the POV issue, which I think is separate from the "do operation names make good article titles?" issue (sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Operation Paperclip is a better title than "American effort to extract German scientists after World War II"), I think the simple guideline should be that any operation title which is meant to prejudice one into feelings about the operation itself should not be used. Operation Paperclip, for example, does not such thing—one does not feel one way or the other about it from the name alone. Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Just Cause, and so forth, are definitely (blatant) attempts to give an operation a "positive" spin (whatever one thinks about the value of such operations, the fact that the names are POV should be easy enough to admit). In such cases, a more descriptive title should definitely be used ("Invasion of Panama by the United States" or something like that). This is pretty much common sense, as far as I can tell, but I've seen arguments about it, mostly based on the fallacious argument that the MOS says that "the most commonly known name in English should be used" for the title (MOS is very useful but it does not in any circumstances trump the NPOV policy—as Jimbo has articulated, nothing trumps NPOV). This seems to me like a fairly self-evident and simple way to deal with it -- if the name itself is obviously meant to a POV statement, then we should use a more descriptive and neutral name. This is an obvious interpretation of the NPOV policy, which is the guiding policy here. --Fastfission 17:45, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

It's a bit more convoluted than that ;-)
The issue is not limited to article titles, but also extends to efforts to prohibit the use of certain names within other articles; a more complete breakdown of the discussion can be seen here. Kirill Lokshin 18:00, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

NPOV and naming convention conflicts

In the archives there is a section (Archive 6) Guidelines or policy dated 9 November 2005. The conversation clearly indicates that at that time this Policy was not a policy but a collection of guidelines. (This subject was touched on in another section (Archive 7) Page Titles and POV).

The archives show that up until November 2005, that the guideline "priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize" was overruled by WP:NPOV policy.

The change in this guideline to a policy has started to throw up cases where the Naming Conventions can be in conflict with WP:NPOV. Two recent examples are #Military conflicts and operational names and Talk:Dokdo‎].

I think that words need to be added to this policy that if it is a choice between different names which are in common usage, then if one name better complies the WP:NPOV policy then it should be chosen, even if it is not the most common. This was the position before this guideline became a policy and I think that inclusion of subserviance to NPOV would be preferable to the two policies being in conflict. Particulary as the NPOV policy says:

NPOV (Neutral Point Of View) is a fundamental Wikipedia principle which states that all articles must be written from a neutral point of view, representing views fairly and without bias. This includes maps, reader-facing templates, categories and portals. According to Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales, NPOV is "absolute and non-negotiable."

This can not be sidestepped by saying that a name is not part of the content of an article as WP:MOS#Article titles states:

If possible, make the title the subject of the first sentence of the article (as opposed to putting it in the predicate). For example, write "This Manual of Style is a style guide" instead of "This style guide is known as the Manual of Style". In any case, the title should appear as early as possible in the article — preferably in the first sentence.

This makes the article name part of the content of an article and therefore potentially subject to WP:NPOV --Philip Baird Shearer 11:40, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Article names are subject to wikipedia's neutral point of view policy. Always have been. For reference, see Wikipedia:NPOV tutorial#Article names.

I object to erroneous quotes, you quoted the basic formulation of the naming conventions policy as:

"priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize"

The policy page has:

Generally, article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, [...] (my bolding)

"Generally" means that there can be exceptions, and I think there can't be any doubt that if "NPOV" is in conflict with a specific naming conventions guideline, that then NPOV should win (non-negotiably).

Anyway, the basic NC policy formulation,

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.

is an explicitation of NPOV for article titles too (while it tries to get rid of, e.g., specific pressure groups' naming preferences that steer for less recognisable names). If subsequent guidelines wander, specifically if they wander in the direction of less NPOV takes on the general NC principle, they should be brought in line with the general principle again. --Francis Schonken 12:14, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

To give an example, lately at wikipedia talk:neutral point of view there was some pushing to "re-state" pseudoscience to alternative science or something in that vein, intended to affect page names too. NPOV was kept in article content, as in page names, by calling pseudoscience by the name it is best known by, that is: "pseudoscience", not giving way to pressure groups. --Francis Schonken 12:23, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

I thought I had made myself clear but your statement "Article names are subject to wikipedia's neutral point of view policy. Always have been. For reference..." makes me wonder! Until the recent controversies, I had assumed that, because before this guideline became a policy it was true, it still was. But where does it explicitly say that "Article names are subject to wikipedia's neutral point of view policy" as both are policies now? How is a person new to Wikipedia to know that, and what makes you think it is still true unless it is included in this policy? --Philip Baird Shearer 12:46, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, what are you trying to get at? For example, what you wrote above:

The archives show that up until November 2005, that the guideline "priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize" was overruled by WP:NPOV policy.

... where did you get that? In November 2005 wikipedia:naming conventions was "policy", not "guideline" - I think at that time WP:NC had already been policy over half a year, in fact as far as I can remember it was made "policy" around the same time as WP:NPOV was made policy, probably sowewhere early 2005 or late 2004, because before that time there wasn't even a distinction between "policies" and "guidelines". Feel free to check that chronology, and report about it.
At all times NPOV, together with WP:V & WP:NOR, overruled, overrules, and will probably continue to overrule all other policies and guidelines, while NPOV is "absolute and non-negotiable", so whatever you do WP:NPOV has "absolute and non-negotiable" at the top of the page, while the NC policy had, has, and probably will continue to have "Generally, [...]", and not a single word about non-negotiability or "absoluteness" superseding WP:NPOV.
Also the formulation

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.

is an explicitation of how NPOV applies to page names, not something that is, generally, in competition with NPOV. And for these *exceptional* cases where there might seem a slight difference between WP:NC policy and WP:NPOV policy, it is WP:NPOV that gets, or should get, precedence (evidently, while "absolute"). Fixed-wing aircraft might be seen as such an instance where NPOV got precedence over the general NC principle. Are you not OK with that?
Maybe it's because I'm stupid, but I apparently can't grasp what you're trying to portray as a problem? --Francis Schonken 14:53, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
Ditto. I don't think anyone has seriously questioned that WP:NPOV applies to everything, whether it's explicitly stated anywhere or not. The fact that there are (and always will be) disagreements about how best to apply NPOV to any particular case doesn't really suggest that the principle itself is somehow in doubt. Kirill Lokshin 15:03, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

I've generally found that anyone who goes on and on about how NPOV is "non-negotiable" and is almost certainly themselves a POV pusher. Generally, they insist that their preferred option is the only "NPOV choice" and then insist on it and claim that all the other options are POV and unacceptable, and thus should be discarded in the absence of a consensus to do so. As Francis notes, I think the basic idea of the "most common name" rule is to explain how NPOV works in the case of article titles, not to be an exception to NPOV. The two are complementary. john k 17:01, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

I am not particularly interested in looking into the entrails of the history of this page and am willing to give way on the issue to anyone who wishes to look it up, or can remember it. But as the pages stand at the moment there is no hierarchy of policies page names, and common usage and NPOV can be in conflict. I am suggesting that this policy page explicitly mentions that NPOV should be taken into consideration when deciding on a page name, because I do not understand that this policy with or without the word "Generally" before "article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize" is explicitly accommodating to NPOV.
Kirill after the long discussion about operational names I am surprised that you do not see that this issue is relevant. If the most common name for an operation fails the NPOV test then this policy is in direct conflict with it the NPOV policy. Without this point being explicitly acknowledged on this page, I do no see how one can argue that NPOV should take precedent. Even if one can, I see that without an acknowledgement of the precedent on this page, it can lead to unnecessary debate over the name of a page, which could be removed by a specific mention of the NPOV policy on this page. --Philip Baird Shearer 19:10, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
Because the topic of the debate is not whether we should ignore NPOV—nobody in their right mind would suggest that—but whether a specific name (or group of names) meets the criteria for use set forth in the NPOV policy (which, as you may recall, calls for articles to "fairly represent all significant viewpoints, in proportion to the prominence of each"; this is often—but not always—interpreted as using the most common name in the case of article titles). I have no objection to explicitly mentioning NPOV on this page (although I think it's not necessary); but doing so won't actually resolve the dispute. Kirill Lokshin 19:19, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Proposal: Rockets associated with space

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (rockets):

The purpouse of this naming convention is to standardise naming for ICBMs and space launch vehicles. It also covers other forms of ballistic misslies, such as IRBMs, and sounding rockets.

So far I have found 13 different ways of naming them - obviously this is a mess, so they need to be standardised. I have reccomended that the best naming convention would be to use the name, followed by the term rocket in parenthesis. This could be used in conjunction with a name only format where appropriote, for example a page could be located at Titan III, but with a redirect at Titan III (rocket) rather than the other way around. --GW_Simulations|User Page | Talk | Contribs | E-mail 20:55, 3 July 2006 (UTC)


I've noticed a proliferation of cemetery articles, with no standard naming guideline for them. Would anyone object to using the same guidelines for cemeteries as are used for schools? Peruse Category:Cemeteries by country for an idea of some naming styles currently used. As an example, compare Category:Cemeteries in Alabama to Category:Cemeteries in New Jersey. Mindmatrix 17:34, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree with your proposal. -Will Beback 19:39, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Chemical elements when written out are common nouns in English, and not to be capitalized. This includes isotope names when written out

IUPAC is pretty clear about this, and so is the literature, where you'll read carbon-14 and not Carbon-14 (unless at the beginning of a sentence. IUPAC Provisional Recommendations for the Nomenclature of Inorganic Chemistry (2004) (online draft of an updated version of the "Red Book"). Of course, all chemical symbols remain capitalized, whether used as isotope symbols or not. So it's C or C-14 or 14C. Steve 16:29, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Except that it's Wikipedia policy that all article names begin with a capital letter. --JeffW 21:03, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Of course. Wasn't suggesting anything else, there (e.g. element articles). Caps in the first word of article subheadings are also fine. This is like caps at sentence beginnings.Steve 21:20, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Administrative division may have an alternative name ?

i will briefly present the following situation in Romania:

1) Romania has 6.6% magyar ethnic minority

2) Mureş County is an administrative division of Romania, and has 39.3% magyar ethnic minority

3) Targu Mures is a city in Mures County, and has 46.73% magyar ethnic minority

3) currently the magyar name of Targu Mures is provided as an Wikipedia:Alternative name (article deviced by me) in the lead paragraph of Targu Mures wikiarticle. the editors reasons for providing the magyar name is the Targu Mures locality has a significant/relevant percent of magyar population (officialy if an ethnic minority counts for over 20% of a locality population, the name employed by that ethnic minority is advertised on the panels at the entry of the city along side the romanian name)

2) currently the magyar name of Mures County is provided as an alternative name in the lead paragraph of Mures county article. the editors reasons for providing the magyar name is the Mures county has a significant/relevant percent of magyar population

1) currently there is no magyar name of Romania provided as an alternative name in the lead paragraph of Romania article. i couldnt identify the reason for why isnt the magyar name provided as an alternative name. i asked User:Ronline (who is a member of the Mediation Comitee and a sysop) to explain to me the reason for not providing a magyar name. i am still waiting for an answer from him.

my POV is providing an alternative name in an ethnic minoritiy's language for an administrative division of a state signifies that that administrative division is administrated by the respective ethnic minoritiy (as an autonomous administrative division). Criztu 18:15, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

If you mean that giving a Hungarian name as an alternative (e.g. in the first sentence of the article) implies that that adm. division is governed by Hungarians, then I don't share your POV. IMO it implies that Hungarian is a relevant language in that adm. division, or that it is also known under the Hungarian name in English texts. Markussep 18:57, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
then providing the magyar name of Romania as an alternative name, would have the same reasoning ? Criztu 19:14, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't mind having the Hungarian name there. See for instance Belgium: the German minority (officially recognized) is only 0.7% of the population, but the German name is in the lead sentence. But if you prefer a higher treshold (e.g. 10 or 20%), that's fine with me. Markussep 20:47, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
since there is a romanian ethnic minority in Hungary (0.8%), following the same reasoning, would it be relevant/justifiable/acceptable to provide the romanian name of Hungary as alternative name for Hungary in the leading paragraph of its coresponding article ? Criztu 21:50, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
On the contrary, it's OK. The alternative name has nothing to do with governance, and expresses no opinion on ethnic conflicts. It simply documents. Some pages have 3 or 4 alternatives listed.
But remember, the Wikipedia:Lead section is just a summary of the main points. When there are more than a few, they should be listed in the History or Population (or whatever relevant) section in the body.
Don't forget to make a redirect for each alternate name (Magyar or whatever) to its page with {{R from alternate language}}.
--William Allen Simpson 23:49, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Detective Conan/Case Closed?

Original Discussion: Talk:Case Closed#Moved to "Case Closed"?

Although this discussion was last year, it still lacked a consensus up to now, so I should bring it here.

Background: This anime/manga series was started in 1994(manga)/1996(anime), and from the start the official name as given by Japan is Detective Conan.

In 2003, supposedly under the pressure of TMS and also due to the trademark issue with Conan the Barbarian, anime producer in Japan, US anime distributor FUNimation changed the title of the series to Case Closed, and anglized the names of major characters. VizMedia, the manga distributor for the manga in US, also followed this set of renaming and anglizations. The UK manga distributor used a sub-licence from VizMedia and and is also Anglized. However, English-using elsewhere continue to use the name Detective Conan since it was the Japanese official.


  1. In this case, the naming of all articles related to this series should follow to Japanese names or Anglo-American names?
  2. When other articles refer to this series and/or its characters, it is the Japanese or the Anglo-American names?

Samuel Curtis 06:54, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

WkiProject participants

There really needs to be a naming convention for the categories of WikiProject participants. They are currently all over the "map." My current favorite naming convention for these categories is Participants in WikiProject (name).

Here is a list of how some are named:

  • Members of WikiProject (name)
  • WikiProject (name) members
  • WikiProject (name) Members
  • Participants of WikiProject (name)
  • WikiProject (name) participants
  • WikiProject (name) Participants
  • (name) WikiProject members
  • User WP(name)
  • User (name)

Can we please come up with one way to name these categories?
—Lady Aleena talk/contribs 22:57, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

I would suggest something of the form "WikiProject [name] [members/participants]", as that would match the more commonly used names for other project categories (e.g. "WikiProject [name] articles", "WikiProject [name] templates", etc.) Kirill Lokshin 23:01, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
What word to you prefer participants or members? - LA @ 23:06, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
I would think that "members" is the more obvious term. I suppose the exact term used varies with the project, though, so forcing all projects to adopt one or the other might step on some toes. Kirill Lokshin 23:21, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
I think members sounds like something that you would join in a more formal sense than is done for a Wikiproject. --JeffW 03:37, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
So go with [[WikiProject (name) participants]]? - LA @ 21:37, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

A massive renaming is on the board HERE. Please comment. - LA @ 00:40, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Ice on Fire

You can remove Ice on Fire from User:Cmh/List of page titles with multiple capitalizations -- Mattbrundage 17:13, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

New project (Regional English)

I've started a new WikiProject on this issue (shortcut: WP:REDS), as it seems to be the cause of more than a few edit wars and unpleasantness on talk pages. SB Johnny 11:42, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Proposal: parentheses for programming and other languages

We, the undersigned, note that programming languages have distinct names like other objects (sensu Wittgenstein 1921) of everyday parlance; for instance, Perl, Python and C#. Convention on Wikipedia is that when several subjects share the same name, as in the case of python the snake and python the programming language, a modifier is appended in parentheses to distinguish the articles, e.g. Enlightenment (concept) and Enlightenment (X window manager). Only what can be properly considered the name of the object described goes before the parentheses by convention.

We believe that programming languages are tools in the same way as other software, for instance Blender (software), COPS (software) and Multisync (software); indeed, they are objects that can be referred to by their names and properties. We therefore question the convention that they be treated differently in having article names such as Python programming language, when the correct name of the language is simply "Python".

We include in this proposal the suggestion that the same convention be adopted for all communication protocols, machine or human, including written and spoken language, since we see no case for these being different, and indeed, existing Wikipedia guidelines do not state any reason for the convention of omitting the parentheses in these cases.

Samsara (talkcontribs) 12:50, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Piet Delport 00:41, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

--Ideogram 22:10, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

EdC 19:35, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Smack (talk) 14:26, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

There's also some relevant discussion on the Python article's talk page. --Piet Delport 14:51, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Another voice in favour can be found here, which also links to some older discussion on the subject. - Samsara (talkcontribs) 09:53, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Since there does not seem to be any immediate opposition, i guess the next step is to propose a tangible change to the text in question. I think the most straightforward approach is to separate out the programming language discussion from the spoken language discussion; here's a first attempt:

Convention: Languages which share their names with some other thing should be suffixed with "language". If the language's name is unique, there is no need for any suffix. For example, English language, but Esperanto.
Language families and groups of languages are pluralized. Thus, Niger-Congo languages rather than 'Niger-Congo language', and Sino-Tibetan languages rather than 'Sino-Tibetan language'.
Programming languages should be disambiguated with the suffix "(programming language)" if the name is not unique enough. For example, VBScript, but Python (programming language).

If there's no opposition, i'll even suggest separating them into separate "spoken language" and "programming language" sections. Comments? --Piet Delport 19:57, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

We may want to include a note that the policy has been changed, probably including a mention of the date when it was changed. - Samsara (talkcontribs) 21:27, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Other than that, it's fine. - Samsara (talkcontribs) 16:36, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Why not "(computing)", which is simpler, shorter and more concistent, rather than "(programming language)"? --TuukkaH 12:34, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
How is it more consistent? Note Java (disambiguation) - my feeling is that computing is too wide a category to efficiently prevent page moves becoming necessary in the future. If there already is a need for disambiguating, it's likely this will grow. - Samsara (talkcontribs) 17:40, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Already been hashed out at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Programming languages/Renaming poll#Simpler disambiguation; no need to worry. --Piet Delport 18:29, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Poll on rename on affected programming language talk pages

Rather than have a very narrow set of administratively-focused editors discuss the naming convention abstractly, I have created a specific poll on PLs and transcluded it onto the actual talk pages of many articles that would be affected by a rename. It seems only right to give notice to the longstanding editors of potentially affected articles. I'm sure I have missed many eligible transclusions, so please help by adding missing ones. Let me transclude it here as well to attract this class of interested editors.

Of some significant important is the fact that a lot of edit conflicts and nasty words will result if a half-dozen (or fewer) editors who have never worked on a specific PL article decide the new policy is such-and-such, and the editors who have worked on the specific languages "must conform" to this half-dozen's wishes. This guideline on naming conventions is a fairly obscure corner of Wikipedia, and talking only here will not build any meaningful consensus.

The following discussion is an archived debate 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 debate was move as outlined. -- tariqabjotu 02:43, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Note: This poll has been transcluded onto the talk pages of a number of individual programming languages, but is in fact a subpage of Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Programming languages. When you comment, please note that this survey is for multiple programming languages, not just the one you saw it on.

Some editors have proposed a general rename of articles named with the pattern "FOO programming language" to the pattern "FOO (programming language)". Please note that this poll only is applicable to those programming languages whose names alone would introduce ambiguity. For example, programming languages such as Java and C , whose names alone are ambiguous, would be at Java (programming language) and C (programming language), respectively. Unique names such as Fortran and COBOL, should remain at their respective simple names.

For instructions on how to add a poll participation request to additional applicable article talk pages, please see: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Programming languages#Poll procedure

Please add "* Support" or "* Oppose" followed by an optional brief explanation, then sign your opinion with ~~~~


  • Abstain Support - I initially abstained because I just wanted to get a procedure rolling. Looking at the first few comment, I support the rename. As with other editor, I only want this where ambiguity exists in the name: e.g. for "Python" but not for "Perl". Also, something like "Python programming language" would still redirect to "Python (programming language)" under the proposal, so existing links would not break. LotLE×talk 22:32, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Support - However, I would object to specifying "programming language" anywhere in the title, as parenthetic remark or not, if the name of the language itself does not have any ambiguity issues. For example C programming language should change to C (programming language) (since C is already taken), but Fortran should stay at Fortran. --Serge 23:24, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Support - originator of the request; it would also meet the common names policy and also meet the disambiguation guideline. atanamir 23:32, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The convention has been "<name of language> programming language" for quite a while and I don't think it helps by changing it now. There are already redirects in place for "<name> (programming language)" and it would only add more work to move them all there. Also, it goes against conventions in other media. In books related to programming on the copyright page where it sometimes has sorting information for the book many books say "Computers & Internet - <name> programming language I. Title" or something similar. - DNewhall 23:32, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. To quote Wikipedia:Disambiguation, "When there is another word (such as Cheque instead of Check) or more complete name that is equally clear (such as Titan rocket), that should be used.". It is undeniable that the "C programming language" is a widely-understood name, not just a description. There's a reason K&R's book is called The C Programming Language rather than C, a Programming Language. Diverse examples from other areas include French language, Titan rocket, sticking plaster, bread roll, contract bridge. What makes programming languages different from these topics? Deco 23:44, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
    • If those articles were named like the programming languages are currently, they would have been something like sticking plaster dressing, bread roll food, and contract bridge card game. Titan rocket, in fact, is a redirect to Titan (rocket family). The natural languages are a slightly odd exception to the normal convention, but i'm not a linguist, and not about to argue with them. (I do know, however, that many non-English Wikipedias use the normal (parenthesized) disambiguation convention for natural languages.) --Piet Delport 13:40, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
      • Apologies for the bad example - Titan rocket was moved since it turned out to be a rocket family, but others such as Angara rocket were not. The controlling question here is whether "C programming language" is a "more complete name" for C. I argue that it is, and so standing guidelines strongly support the current name. Deco 10:12, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
        • I would argue that isn't. You can say "I play contract bridge" and "I use C", but not "I use C programming language". You can expand the names into noun phrases, as in "I play the contract bridge card game" and "I use the C programming language", but in both cases "the * card game" and "the * programming language" are not part of the name itself, anymore. --Piet Delport 06:04, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
          • The presence or absence of a leading article is not a reliable indicator of whether it's a name or not, as indicated by French language, unless you wish to expand this proposal to move X language -> X (language) as well. Deco 06:28, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
            • Definitely not something i'm interested in pursuing; let the linguists and editors involved with natural languages worry about their own naming convention. --Piet Delport 12:09, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
              • (I know I am commenting on a now old post, but...) My take on "French language" is that it's different from "C programming language" since French is the language of the French. However, "C" is not a language named after a culture, country, or people (or anything). "C" only refers to C; "French" refers to a whole lot more than a language. Also, "French" is descriptive, but "C" is not. There's no need to clarify "C" or let it modify a noun. But being that a one letter name for something is inherently ambiguous, as well as names such as "Java" or "Python" (as already mentioned), there needs to be the parenthetical, "(programming language)".
  • Support - due to its name being "Ruby". --Yath 01:31, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Support - this is the standard way that most Wikipedia articles are named. Use the common name and disambiguate appropriately using parentheses when necessary. --Polaron | Talk 01:43, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose - For the same reasons as DNewhall. Chris Burrows 02:11, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose — Per Deco, I don't see how adding parentheses to an article title which is already clear is an improvement. --Craig Stuntz 02:47, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Support -- Crypotography has had much the same problem for some time. It has adopted the "<topic> (cryptography)" approach which has worked well. Not elegant perhaps, but ... ww 05:20, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose — Either way, there should be a second link so that both "C (programming language)" and "C programming langage" produce the C article. My main reason for opposing is that it isn't really consistent with the new "C programming language, criticism" page that was spun off the main C article; what would that name turn into? By the way, the official standard name is "programming language C", but to me that sounds too much like "PL/C" which would be wrong. Deco's remark is quite right. — DAGwyn 07:56, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment. This proposal is different from the original proposal, found here, which is now understood as having unanimous consensus in favour. Please do not interfere with the original proposition by misrepresenting it and opening a straw poll here, which can only serve to undermine the usefulness of the original proposal. It would have been much better to simply post a link. - Samsara (talkcontribs) 09:40, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
The original proposal seems pretty wacko to me, and I don't see any evidence of a consensus. As I understand it, this current section is not a "straw poll", but a genuine attempt to determine whether or not to move the C article to a new name, independently of whether that wacko proposal is accepted. — DAGwyn 09:53, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose - As per Deco, if syntactically correct name is enough for disambiguation, it should be preferred. And also, without parentheses it's more pythonic (readability counts). Samohyl Jan 10:24, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong Support — The current convention is at odds with the rest of Wikipedia, and as cumborsome as it would have been to have things like Quicksilver novel, Manowar band, and Darwin operating system. --Piet Delport 13:28, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. Needs disambiguating, and the name seems to be to be currently misleading. --maru (talk) contribs 19:25, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
In what way is "C programming language" misleading? I can't think of a more natural title for such an article. — DAGwyn 05:48, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. Those opposing often Some of those opposing assume that the poll is about deleting the "X programming languages" links - this is not correct. Nor is the intention to move names which are unambiguous, such as Fortran. Aaron McDaid (talk - contribs) 23:06, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
    • For the record, I do not make either of these assumptions, and continue to oppose on the stated grounds. Deco 10:10, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
      • I didn't intend to imply that there weren't other reasons for opposing. Thanks for pointing that out Deco. Aaron McDaid (talk - contribs) 10:33, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
        • Don't worry about it - I appreciate your clarification that these are not valid grounds for opposition. Deco 10:38, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Support per Piet Delport. — Hex (❝?!❞) 23:35, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Support per Hex. -- Fredrik Johansson 12:54, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Support per Piet Delport. – Smyth\talk 14:33, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
  • strong support. Piet Delport puts it well. Programming language articles should be disambiguated the same way that other Wikipedia articles are. — brighterorange (talk) 18:15, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
  • EMPHATIC Support I've wanted this to happen for a long time now. Per Piet Delport. RN 10:34, 5 September 2006 (UTC)


Response to DNewhall's comment

In order to reduce clutter in the voting section, i've deicded to respond to DNewhall's vote here. If you're afraid of the amount of work it would take to move the articles, I can move most of them and i'm sure there are other editors willing to take up the task. Also, most books about programming languages simply have the title or common name of the programming language as the title of the book -- the Wrox series uses "Professional PHP" or "professional Java", not "professional PHP programming language" or "professional Java programming langauge". Many of the books I have also have the sorting information as "Computers -- Programming languages -- X," where X is the programming language. atanamir 23:36, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

The main issue is not that I'm afraid of the work but that it'll be a lot of work with next to no perceived benefit. Both "Euphoria programming language" and "Euphoria (programming language)" go to the same page and I (and others apparently) fail to see how that is an improvement over the current convention. The text is exactly the same, you're just adding parentheses. No one is going to get confused about the lack of parentheses (also remember that the names with parentheses already have redirects in place). Is "<name> (programming language)" a more correct title for the article? Arguably. Is it worth the effort of moving all the pages over from their perfectly understandable title to a title that already has a redirect in place for it? No. - DNewhall 16:10, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
I think you misunderstand the point of stylistic consistency on Wikipedia. Any one article in isolation would be fine under either convention; in fact, if the project was only the one article on, e.g. "C programming language" there would be no contrast with all the other uses of parens for disambiguation. But if WP (or some subset) was prepared for print or other syndication, having relatively consistent stylistic choices helps a lot (article naming is, of course, just one small issue among many others, of course). The work involved in a rename would, obviously, be a tiny fraction of the work involved in discussing the question, so that is "vanishingly insignificant". LotLE×talk 16:42, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
When it comes to C, we need to clear and distinct names for the articles on the programming language article and for the book. C (programming language) and The C Programming Language (book) are those two names. They are unambiguous and (or is that because?) they conform with the Wikipedia standard. Anything else should be a redirect to one or disambig page to both. 'C programming language' should redirect to the language and 'C Programming Language' to the book or a disambig page. The existence of a book called 'The C Programming Language' is actually an argument in Support. Aaron McDaid (talk - contribs) 12:49, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
... Appending to own comment ... It's never referred to directly as 'C programming language'. It's always 'C' or 'the C programming language. Note the ' the '. The latter is of the form 'the X Y' where X is the name and Y is the type of object. 'the X Y' (or even 'X Y') is not a new name for the object, simply a way to refer to X where there may be some ambiguity. Aaron McDaid (talk - contribs) 13:07, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Repsonse to Deco's comment

Imagine if you have a set of objects which all fall under the same category -- let's say they're all different types of Widgets. The types are Alboo, Kabloo, Hello, Wawoob, Baboon, Choogoo, Chimpanzee, etc. Because some will cause ambiguity -- Hello, Baboon, and Chimpanzee -- they need to be disambiguated. However, since the common name (in this case, the real name) is "Hello," "Baboon," and "Chimpanzee," wikipedia has an established precedent of using parentheses. Thus, the unique widgets, Alboo, Kabloo, Wawoob, Coogoo, can have articles simply at the name itself; but the ambiguous names should have articles at Hello (widget), Baboon (widget), and Chimpanzee (widget). Thus, the article titles will be uniform in that they are all "at" the name itself, but with a disambiguator on several of them. This is easier than making all of the articles at Alboo widget, Kabloo widget, Hello widget, etc. Also, it allows for the pipe trick, so links can easily be made with [[Hello (widget)|]] --> Hello. atanamir 23:54, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

  • an example of this that's currently on wikipedia is colours. Some colours, such as Blue, Brown, and Red are at their articles, but colours like Orange (color) need the disambiguation part on them. It isn't at Orange color, althouh there is a redirect -- we can do the same thing with redirects. atanamir 23:57, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Titan rocket may now be a redirect, since it turned out to be a family of rockets rather than a single rocket, but there are still many rockets named that way (e.g. Angara rocket) and it's still cited on Wikipedia:Disambiguation specifically. The miniscule convenience of the pipe trick is not a reason for anything. My point is that this is a much wider concern than programming languages alone and represents a significant departure from the disambiguation guidelines. It would be radical to make such changes in a single area without raising them to the wider community, when your argument seems to apply to everything. The point of contract bridge and bread roll is that the more common names for these topics are "bridge" and "roll". Deco 07:48, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Simpler disambiguation

Even if we add the parentheses, the guideline at Wikipedia:Disambiguation#Specific topic makes sense to me:

If there is a choice between disambiguating with a generic class or with a context, choose whichever is simpler. Use the same disambiguating phrase for other topics within the same context.

For example, "(mythology)" rather than "(mythological figure)".

In this case, we could have the simpler and more widely applicable "(computing)" instead of the long "(programming language)". --TuukkaH 10:04, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the sentiment, but i think "(computing)" is too wide, with way too much opportunity for clashes:
"(programming language)" might lean towards the long side, but i don't think any alternative class comes close to being as simultaneously large, well-defined and well-populated. --Piet Delport 15:14, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree that if we were to use parentheses, "(computing)" is not specific enough. Your examples are excellent, particularly "Icon", which clashes with an already-existing article! Deco 10:40, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps you're right in that it's not specific enough. On the other hand, the disambiguation can never be perfect as there are several programming languages that share a name: NPL has three programming languages, The Language List has four programming languages called G. What about "(language)" then? --TuukkaH 22:02, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
"Language" connotes something rather different from "programming language". "Lisp (language)" for example. "Programming language" is the accepted category in the industry, abbreviated to "PL" quite often in discussions (whereas "L" is never used for this). — DAGwyn 05:59, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
What about just "(programming)"? Or is that too ambiuguous as well? atanamir 02:39, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. 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.

Pages like C programming language, criticism

To meet the new standard, the pages should be moved to something like Criticism of C (programming language), right? examples are Georgia (U.S. State) and Politics of Georgia (U.S. state). atanamir 02:42, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Depends on the page in question, most likely; some would work like above, some (like C syntax) wouldn't require any changes, and some might want to use a different method to disambiguate. --Piet Delport 05:55, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Agreed with Piet; only the ones that would incite ambiguity -- simply "Criticism of C" would have ambiguity, but "C syntax" or "Syntax of C" are both rather unambiguous and would not need change. atanamir 06:01, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Surely, criticism of C is pretty unique and should be the article? Are there any other C's that would be criticized? Aaron McDaid (talk - contribs) 21:41, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the most likely "C" to be criticised is the programming language, but some may be looking for a criticism of the letter or magazine. Unlikely, but possible. This decision would be left up to the community, though. atanamir 01:57, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
As of now, there is only one C that is criticized on Wikipedia, and I am not aware of anyone wanting to write an article criticizing any other Cs. Therefore, criticism of C is unique. The Wikipedia standard is to only disambiguate when necessary. That article should be moved to criticism of C at some point, but we should let this debate finish first. Aaron McDaid (talk - contribs) 09:16, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
For the record, "Criticism of C" didn't even exist until I created the redirect yesterday. Was kind of surprised because it was at that wierd, longish name and is a pretty good article :). RN 10:19, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
The C criticism article was split off from the main C article, where it had previously been embedded, in response to a requirement in order for the main C article to be designated a "Good Article". I picked the name with the idea that it was a sub-article of the main one. Once the discussion has settled, I don't object to some reasonable renaming, so long as the links between the two articles are fixed up so they still point to each other. — DAGwyn 21:51, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Aaargh! Whoever just renamed the main C article ignored this linking issue. I have edited the C criticism article so its link to the C article does not have to redirect. — DAGwyn 20:20, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
The term "criticism" should not be used (I've stated reasons for this on Talk:C (programming language); the more accurate term of "analysis" or something similar should be used. Dysprosia 03:54, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
You also received feedback to the effect that criticism doesn't have to be negative, that the article is fairly balanced, and that a list of limitations has to seem somewhat negative no matter how well-intentioned it may be. The C criticisms article is not at all a complete analysis of the language, just a description of the many characteristics of C that have drawn reasonable criticism. Since C is so popular and wide-spread, it is a target for a lot of sniping and second-guessing, and it is undeniable that that has happened, which is part of what the C criticism article specifically addresses. One of the useful functions of the C criticism page is to bring some balance to that criticism. — DAGwyn 20:20, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
I also responded to that comment by saying (and I'll repeat the comment here for the benefit of readers of this page) that the term "criticism" still has primarily a negative connotation and that because of this it is an undesirable term. The article in question has the potential to contain discussion on design points on the language and opinions on those who comment on these design points. That is an analysis of the design of the language, and has the potential to encompass views from all points on the spectrum on the matter. Dysprosia 07:43, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
I just want to chip in that i agree with DAGwyn that "criticism" does not carry negative any primarily negative connotations in this context. As the criticism article says:
"In literary and academic contexts, the term most frequently refers to literary criticism, art criticism, or other such fields, and to scholars' attempts to understand the aesthetic object in depth."
There are certain fields ("In politics, for instance [...]") where "criticism" connotes mainly negative criticism, but it should be reasonably clear that encyclopedias won't limit themselves to that. --Piet Delport 23:32, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
Technically, it shouldn't carry any as you suggest but most seem to think it is a dumping ground for it. I would recommend "Analysis" as that's what I'm doing for criticism page I watch. RN 23:43, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
"Analysis" usually implies something more formal, complete and reductionistic, though. Is that what the article is aiming for? --Piet Delport 00:00, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
It doesn't need to imply that. The article in question however should aim to examine as many viewpoints on as many language points as possible. Dysprosia 02:33, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the C (programming language) article itself does force the negative connotation on the reader by saying "Despite its popularity, C has been widely criticized. Such criticisms fall into two broad classes: desirable operations that are too hard to achieve using unadorned C, and undesirable operations that are too easy to accidentally achieve while using C. Putting this another way, the safe, effective use of C requires more programmer skill, experience, effort, and attention to detail than is required for some other programming languages." That whole paragraph implies that the article Criticism of the C programming language is negative (why else say "Despite its popularity" and then cite two negative classes?) Mickraus 17:14, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
I'll just wait for someone else to paint the bikeshed — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:52, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

Capitalization of prepositions

Under "Album Titles and Band Names", the MOS says this:

Convention: In band names and titles of songs or albums, unless it is unique, the standard rule in the English language is to capitalize words that are the first or the last word in the title and those that are not conjunctions (and, but, or, nor, for), prepositions (in, to, over, through), articles (an, a, the), or the word 'to' when used to form an infinitive.

I beg to differ--it is not the standard rule in English to lowercase the names of long prepositions in titles. If you doubt me, try googling "i'm looking through you" and tell me how long it takes you to find one that is capitalized "I'm Looking through You". It's weird-looking.

I don't know that there is a standard rule on when to start capitalizing prepositions; AP uses four letters, I think some other style guides use five. I'm going to be bold and suggest that WP go with five. Nareek 20:16, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

With no objections registered, I'm going to go ahead and change this. I want to stress that the point here is not personal preference, but the fact that WP by the philosophy of its naming conventions ought to be capitalizing titles the way that people usually capitalize them. For some further evidence that people don't usually lowercase the first letters of long prepositions, some Google search results:

"on beyond zebra"
"all about eve"
"all along the watchtower"

If you try titles with a four-letter preposition, you'll find some examples of lowercasing--for example,

"from russia with love"

So I'm going to go with five letters for now. Nareek 15:53, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

To throw a spanner in the works, what about emphasis? It has always seemed to me that sometimes, words like "through" have their capitalization dictated not by their length, but by the role they play in the name. Some examples of what i mean:
--Piet Delport 19:26, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
If you do a Google search for "i heard it through the grapevine" you get two WP-derived hits that lowercase "through", seven that have it uppercase and one oddball that only capitalizes "I" and "Grapevine". For "resurrection through carnage" it's two WP-related "throughs" and eight non-WP "Throughs". "frolic through the park" is more mixed--you get four out of 10 (including WP) that capitalized "Frolic" and "Park", five that capitalize "Through" (though most capitalize "The" as well) and one all caps. "leaving through the window" gives you 10 capitalized "Throughs"--though again, six of these capitalize "The".
Anyway, I think it would be difficult to have a convention based on emphasis--I for one would have trouble sorting that list into emphasized and non-emphasized throughs, if they were all capitalized the same way. Nareek 00:03, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Reading them aloud makes the difference quite obvious to me; but maybe that's just me.
I'm not suggesting that the convention be "officially" based on emphasis, though; just that it should perhaps not mandate a hard rule about the capitalization of words like "through". All lowercase gives you "Washed Up and through the Ringer", and all uppercase gives you "Frolic Through the Park"; both of which appear decidedly odd and unbalanced to me. Rather allow conscientious editors to use the capitalization that's appropriate for the context. --Piet Delport 02:42, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Capitalization of dances

Are there any guidelines related to the capitalization of dance names, like foxtrot, waltz, tango, salsa, ballet, swing, etc.? There's been a dispute about that on the Dance WikiProject for quite some time. Other encyclopedias and dictionaries don't seem to have a standard. We've agreed that dances derived from proper nouns should be capitalized (such as Balboa and Argentine tango) and that the names of performances and choreography should be capitalized (such as Swan Lake and Shim Sham), but what about more common dance names (like waltz and tango)? Also, what about specific dance moves (like swingout and box step)? --Cswrye 14:58, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Dungeons & Dragons links

As the D&D section has been fleshed out there has grown a noticeable inconsistency in the naming of the articles. Some articles work just fine with a single name Hexblade, Favored Soul because these have no equivalent external to the game. However, many others (Samurai, Shaman, Cleric, etc.) do have real world equivalents and have been flagged with "(Dungeons & Dragons)" at the end of the article name. This has lead to some very ugly links and difficulty in editing. I started to clean all of these up by putting them all under the "(Dungeons & Dragons)" umbrella, but it was pointed out to me that I should run this by the naming conventions thread.

I understand that heirarchies are generally to be avoided but this seems like a case where any hope of consistency requires that kind of structure. Any suggestions/comments would be appreciated.

--Laxrulz777 18:48, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

New proposal: military vehicles

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (military vehicles): please comment on the talk page. Michael Z. 2006-08-15 20:50 Z

Same character different name

Is there a convention that may address what to do in a case where a character has been adapted from a novel to the screen and had their name changed, but are clearly the same person? Example: there are a number of James Bond characters like this - Jill Masterton from Ian Fleming's Goldfinger was adapted to film and her name was changed to Jill Masterson (the one that was famously painted gold). They're the same person and truly do not warrant separate articles. But which should be the article title? I feel they should be the original Fleming name, but one editor feels differently. Honeychile Rider, Domino Vitali, Judy Havelock and a few others are also in the same boat. I have started a discussion on this at Talk:James Bond where there are two other editors who support the Fleming name. Looking for more input on this. K1Bond007 21:33, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Football (soccer) clubs

A discussion has started at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Football to decide whether the standard for football club article titles should be changed from "...F.C." to "...FC" (e.g. Liverpool F.C. to Liverpool FC), or to something else. This may impact about 2000 articles and several hundred categories - please visit the discussion if you are interested. — sjorford++ 16:59, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Poll threatens to violate "use common names"

This "binding" poll is using majority voting to establish naming conventions that, as of now, fly in the face of established conventions. Using "Michigan M-1" for a highway named M-1 violates both our naming conventions and common sense. Of course you my disagree, in which case you should "vote" too. Because all that matters is a numerical majority. --SPUI (T - C) 01:20, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Really? Which naming conventions and/or common sense does the poll "violate"? --physicq210 01:52, 19 August 2006 (UTC) Never mind. I don't want a never-ending charade about alleged "violations" of Wikipedia policy. Nor does anyone. --physicq210 01:53, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
And by the way, if you don't want to follow this, I'm sorry. We're ordered to by ArbCom, not doing this out of our own free time. --physicq210 01:58, 19 August 2006 (UTC)


(Moved to Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (astronomical objects))

Straw Poll

Due to the recent turmoil on community pages, a large community straw poll is being conducted. Wikipedia:Communities strawpoll is now open for voting. Despite resolutions made on this page, many others are facing turmoil similar to what this page is, or once did face. In an effor to solve the issue, I invite all Wikipedians to vote there by September 18th on this page following the procedures and ballot instuctions explained there. Thank You. Ericsaindon2 06:13, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Naming Conflict Between two English-language, "official" names

I refer to Talk:Case Closed#Request for Comment: Case Closed Naming Conventions; the synopsis of the dispute is provided there. This topic has been a constant dispute over two years, with some power persuasions on most sides of the camp. I think the major issue hidden in this dispute is the definition of "English speaker" in WP:NAME. It refers to anglophones, or people who know English regardless of native language? Please comment to the Talk page thread above since the dispute has already been spread out among many pages. --Samuel Curtis 12:03, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Large City Strawpoll Construction

I am trying to work on a large City Strawpoll to end the feuding about larger cities in the United States. Please visit the page, User:Ericsaindon2/Sandbox and leave comments on the talk page, but dont edit the actual page. After it has been modified to satisfy the community, I will go ahead and open it. But, please review it and comment, to avoid controversy over its structure. I hope to open it in a few days after discussion, so please be timely in making your comments. Thanks. --Ericsaindon2 05:48, 29 August 2006 (UTC)


The current naming convention is (for example):

Canadian federal election, 1867

I propose changing this convention to:

Canadian federal election of 1867

The advantage of this is:

  1. The article names sound more like encyclopedia entries
  2. This makes it easier to link directly from articles, which currently is mostly done via piped links.
  3. No ambiguity is created with this change

Looking at the nutshell:

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,

I think this new policy would better reflect this than the existing policy. AndrewRT - Talk 20:16, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

The formats recommended by Wikipedia:Naming conventions (dates and numbers)#Events recurring at regular intervals are:
That seems enough to choose from, no? --Francis Schonken 20:48, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

New elections proposal

Attempt to pass a naming convention with only 59% in favor

[1] --SPUI (T - C) 10:07, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

One major shortcoming with place names and disputed territories [Proposal]

Take a place like Dokdo/Takeshima (there may be other examples)

1. This has no common name in English, and is split fairly evenly on Google searches (i.e. inconclusive), and most uses are unlikely to be by English speakers anyway.

2. An English name (Liancourt Rocks) is not really used.

3. Choosing Dokdo over Takeshima (and vice-versa) would seem to be POV, and could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. ie. Because Wikipedia chooses to use one name this could cause it to become a standard name)

Proposal is to use a slashed version of the name (perhaps with the first name being the present governors of the territory, if unclear then alphabetical) with redirects.

So the above article would be called:


I would be grateful if we could have a standard policy in such cases. Macgruder 08:27, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

"Slash" is the sign that triggers the "subpage" feature. Although this subpage feature has been disabled in main (="article") namespace, there is still some feeling against using slashes in article names, *except* when they are part of the "common name" of a topic, like Input/output: See Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names)#Subpage feature (creating a subpage with a slash) disabled in main namespace.
Although personally I don't feel that strongly against using slashes in page names for other purposes (in the proposed case, for solving an insolvable "common names" question), note that the "connotations of slashes" is an issue that needs to be tackled when proposing such solution. Prior cases of "insolvable common names issues" didn't resort to using a slash in the page name:
In such case people also tend to react hypersensitively to the fact of which of the two alternative names comes before the slash, and which one comes after the slash... (yes, there is definitely experienced to be a difference in "importance", although I can't remember any more which one of the two positions -before or after the slash- is considered to be the more "dominant". But I do remember the soaring high sensitivity to the issue)
FYI, the current guidance re. solving the kind of "naming conflict" as described above can be found at Wikipedia:Naming conflict. So, I'd propose to move the discussion to the talk page of that guideline if someone feels like exploring the "slash" method any further. --Francis Schonken 09:02, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
PS, see also Bozen-Bolzano, a similar solution but with "hyphen" instead of slash. I'm still divided whether that is a good ("stable") solution. Anyway, the talk page of that article shows considerable (and continuing) "tension" w.r.t. that solution of a double place name as article name (with a new WP:RM vote only concluded a few weeks ago - this RM was over which of the two place names should obtain the "first" position, I told about the hypersensitivity in that respect). Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spanish name + Basque name) is another example, with less tension. I seem to remember that in Basque country most road signs indeed contain both names (to the point that people surely have started to see this as a "single" name, like Erpe-Mere or Budapest) --Francis Schonken 09:46, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I think the problem with the hyphen is that it suggests that the name actual is A-B rather than the name is A or B. I don't think the discussion with the pope and aeroplane are quite the same as they are not really disputes of the same kind (i.e. ones regarding international territory). As you can imagine getting a group of Japanese and Korean to agree on a solution (and I can tell you this from experience :-) is basically impossible. There are clearly lots of disputed islands all around the Pacific/Asia area where these arguments are ongoing and impossible to solve. Votes don't really work either because it's just a case of one POV group voting against another POV group (which could end up being a population contest). I think it would be good to have a Wikipedia policy here. How about
A | B (if the slash issue is technical). | is not used in a name (generally) so it wouldn't really give the impression of being part of the name
We could have a policy:
"If the ownership of a territory is disputed, and there is no clear preference amongst English speakers then consider using A | B" i.e. Dokdo | Takeshima Macgruder 11:21, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Re. "| is not used in a name (generally)" - that is because it can't be used in page names, see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (technical restrictions)#Characters not allowed at all in page titles. So, the correct way of putting it is: "| is not used in a name (at all)". Technically not possible. Sorry about that.
  • Re. "it suggests that the name actual is A-B rather than the name is A or B" – exactly what I tried to explain, and why it is not so surprising that Bozen-Bolzano gives cyclic problems.
    • And there's been another move request to Bolzano-Bozen (the first position seems to be the desirable one); now beginning mediation. Septentrionalis 16:59, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Not saying anything about Japanese-Korean naming issues, this Russian-Japanese "difference of opinion" seems to be an issue too: Kuril Islands dispute. The geographical entities are described under the Kuril Islands page name. Here I see no need to change to "Southern Kurils (or) Northern Territories" [2] or anything in the sense of a "double article name with a separator between the two names"
  • As already suggested above (but maybe not explicitly enough), please consider following the recommendations at Wikipedia:Naming conflict, in particular:
    • Wikipedia:Naming conflict#Proper nouns, and if that doesn't lead to a solution:
    • Wikipedia:Naming conflict#Ambiguity persists. If you arrive at this method, and both sides are "equally strong" (as you contend regarding your example), this usually means that *the article stays where it was originally* (while generally the page would not be moved if the WP:RM vote results in a 50%/50%, or if one side gets a majority only through vote-stacking). Put up with it. Dura lex, sed lex. And if you can't put up with it, propose alternatives for Wikipedia:Naming conflict, on its talk page. Note that, having considered many possibilities, including the solutions proposed by you, I don't think your proposed solutions would lead to a wikipedia-wide consensus soon. Don't let that stop you from searching such solutions, I only gave my (very personal) opinion. If you find a viable alternative to the current solutions offered for naming issues, be sure I'd support you. --Francis Schonken 11:58, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
  • PS: still forgot to mention that we had the Gdansk/Danzig (or was it Gdańsk/Danzig?), the Zurich/Zürich and the Bombay/Mumbay issues city-wise, and Côte d'Ivoire/Ivory Coast and East Timor/Timor Leste country-wise. Some of these are the *most notorious* naming disputes in Wikipedia ever (check interviews of Jimbo Wales, and count the number of times Gdansk/Danzig and Zurich/Zürich turn up). So yes, this is fundamentally *not* different from the aircraft and the Lithuanian/Polish monarch examples given above. --Francis Schonken 12:13, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
  • And if you're looking for a more "lighthearted" approach to the issue, consider consulting the wikifun page WP:LAME. It's not all about naming issues, but besides some of the examples I mentioned above it contains deep-delving info on Istanbul/Constantinople; Kiev vs. non-Russian local variant ("... Since it was unthinkable that any of the warring camps were wrong in their contentions, it must have been the NPOV policy that was faulty."); Aluminium/aluminum;... --Francis Schonken 13:03, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
All we really need is an impartial coin-flipper. For articles that have been there for a while, just let the original stand. When the issue is raised in a fairly short time after creation, figure out some way to randomly choose which gets the one slot for the article names, letting any others get by with redirects. In especially close cases, give the first runnerup first billing in the intro. And when the variations are the result of regional variations, include categorization of the redirects in region-specific categories as part of the process. Gene Nygaard 20:50, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

For completeness, I came across SCK•CEN (the same in two different languages, using *bullet* as separator). But, like the Vitoria-Gasteiz example, this way of writing that name exists *outside* wikipedia (see logo ) --Francis Schonken 15:51, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

De-Russification of names

In the USSR a russification of names took place. I reject to use this names as a headline of an article even if it is far less common among English speakers. Of course, the has to be a redirect but that is no Problem. As a compromise, in other articles the common form can be used, if it is not obvious who is meant, for example Ivan Bagramian or Hovhannes (Ivan) Baghramian instead of Hovhannes Baghramian. This is fully acceptable to me.

This is not only a question of letters. Please take into consideration that the Soviet russification policy had the goal to oppress and destroy the non-Russian cultures in the USSR. The Soviet leadership took a variety measures (ranging from television in Russian to deportation of minorities). In my eyes, Russian headlines prolong this policy and insult the honourableness of the non-Russian peoples of the USSR.

Cases, where a de-russification took place, are f.e. the Ukrainian chess player Vasyl Ivanchuk (instead of Vasily Ivanchuk) and the Armenian chess player Vladimir Hakobyan (instead of Vladimir Akopian). In the case of Rafael Vahanyan (instead of Rafael Vaganian). This was rejected by User:Brittle_heaven in the latter case. He/she regarded to the name conventions.

I advocate to “legalise” the de-russification of names in the conventions, i.e. a process that is already going on. Thank you, Ulf-S. 08:24, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

There are innumerable cases where the most common name for a person is influenced by the language of what may be seen as an oppressive power. Irish names have virtually all been anglicized. Crazy Horse has his main article under Crazy Horse; Tasunka Witko is a redirect. This has nothing to do with the "honorableness" of the Irish, Native Americans or anyone else; it's because Wikipedia is supposed to put articles under the titles that readers are most likely to look for. Nareek 11:11, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
I see your point but there is a difference between a printed encyclopedia and Wikipedia. In the first case I have to look up the word again, may be I even have to take another volume. But in Wikipedia there is simply a redirect -- one alway finds what he searches. Further more, there is a principal different between a conventional short form (f.e. Germany instead of Federal Republic of Germany), a translation (f.e. Mexico City instead of Ciudad de Mexico) and an incorrect name (one can look into the passport and see Վահանյան i.e. Vahanyan (if you look into an Irish passport do not see an “Irish” version, am I right?). By the way, do you think that Vasily Ivanchuk instead of the already existing Vasyl Ivanchuk would be preferable? I mean that in any case there should be one standard. Ulf-S. 12:04, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
There should be one standard, and that standard is WP:NAME. It's very clear that the most commonly used name in English is the "correct" name, regardless of what appears in anyone's passport. Nareek 12:40, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
WP:NAME includes that for naming conflicts one could try to follow the recommendations of Wikipedia:Naming conflict#Proper nouns. Probably Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) would however suffice to get the issue solved. Taking account of Wikipedia:Naming conventions (people) too of course (which would exclude non-redirect page names like "Hovhannes (Ivan) Baghramian" for instance).
"Countering Soviet russification policy" will however not be a principle inscribed implicitly or explicitly in naming conventions policies and guidelines. Not under any form. --Francis Schonken 12:51, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

I have to say only two more things. 1. I would never counter russification in cases like the Azeri name Äliev because you can read it in official documents (it is the same with anglicised Irish names. In this case it is their down decision to be named this and not my problem.) But in the mentioned cases it is their official name or linguistacally correct transliterion respectively. The commonness (i.e. Google) is a result of thoughtless transcription of thousands of people from each other. The mission of an encyclopedia is not copying of incorrect information but throw light on something (and the redirect is a great instrument for this). 2. I will ignore this standard at least to a certain extent. I will not remove any articles to their “correct” place (according to Wikipedia:Suggestions on how to ignore all rules). Ulf-S. 15:03, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Holy shit - Out of control?

Is this page out of control or is it just me? Glancing at the page, amid noticing that the TOC is fucking ridculous, I noticed that this page has a WHOLE HEADER for "Ohio School Districts" which is just a proposal.. Am I wrong in saying that this page needs some dicipline? Fresheneesz 22:54, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

introducing policy?

Recently there was a debate over whether to change the name of the Roman Catholic Church article to Catholic Church. This debate spilled out onto a number of subpages, including a few CfD and WP:Requested moves. The result of the main discussion was no consensus to change the name (the vote was nearly 50/50). Out of this, a new discussion has started among a number of editors from both sides of the previous vote. We are trying to create a disclaimer, stating that a) wikipedia does not prefer RCC or CC, and that both are acceptable b) the name of the main article isn't necessarily precedent for tha names of other catholic topic articles and c) changing either the name of an article, or the terms used within the text of an article is frowned upon without a good reason and a prior consensus. We have been working on User:Leinad-Z/RCC Disclaimer. I was thinking that this would be a good thing to be part of the Naming conventions, so I was wondering if any editors here could review, edit, suggest improvements on what we have so far, and perhaps tell us, when we are ready, how we could go about getting this included in the Naming conventions, if that is an appropriate course of actions. Thanks.--Andrew c 21:09, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Name of awards, prizes et.c.

i.e. should the article be called the official name (for instance "Academy Awards") or the popular name (in this example "Oscars"). // Liftarn

The erosion of WP:NAME

I'd just like to put in a word for WP:NAME. It's one of my favorite Wikipedia policies--I love the way that it recognizes that the real name of a thing is what people call it, rather than what some body of experts thinks people should call it. (See: Pluto.)

I'm concerned that over time this admirable policy is getting chipped away, as groups of editors who specialize in various topics decide that it doesn't apply to the area that they happen to be interested in--you've got doctors and doctor-wannabes who have changed the perfectly good common name of [[heart attack]] to myocardial infarction; you've got aristocracy buffs who insist that the titles of articles for famous writers like Lord Byron or Lord Dunsany should include the information that they're the umpteenth baron of wherever, just in case you might be confusing the famous writer with an obscure petty landlord of the 13th century; and you've got astronomy geeks (I use the phrase affectionately) attaching obscure numerical designations to the names of asteroids (and now dwarf planets) because that's the "official" name--which of course isn't really the question according to WP:NAME. I'm sure people can provide other examples of their own.

My experience is that you don't get anywhere arguing about these things on the talk pages of the articles in question, because the people who edit articles tend to have (or to think they have) some expertise in the topic at hand, and so tend to see the question from the expert's point of view--which is explicitly not the point of view of WP:NAME. I just wanted to make a plea that the policy as a whole is worth respecting, and maybe should take precedence over the perceived ideal organization of information within a particular subsection of Wikipedia. Nareek 19:42, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

  • I agree, with one caveat that a recent name change has brought to my attention: occasions when a name that is regarded as "what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity" might easily carry misleading connotations (cf thread immediately below). Regards, David Kernow (talk) 02:48, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Names that can condone, carry or propogate misleading connotations

A recent name change has brought a potential problem in article naming and this policy to my attention (but which might be old unresolved news to veterans – apologies if so; perhaps this an opportunity to test for consensus again...?):

A prospective name might be what "the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity" but at the same time carry one or more misleading connotations (in the example linked above, that the "Nobel Prize in Economics", like the other "Nobel Prizes in X", was bequested by Alfred Nobel).

I'd say condoning/carrying/propogating this mistaken impression is unencyclopedic. Does the policy therefore need amendment, or do people think the "with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity" clause is meant to address this issue...?  If the latter, perhaps the situation as exemplified above should be given as a concrete example of an exception to the main "what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize" policy rationale...?  Thanks in advance for input, David Kernow (talk) 03:04, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Names often come with a POV; people give things names that other people might think are the exact opposite of what the thing really is (see Patriot Act). I think WP:NAME recognizes this and says that, still, WP ought to list an article under the name the subject is most commonly called (to oversimplify a bit), and any controversies over the name ought to be dealt with within the article. The one exception, I think, is for names that are considered offensive to the group so labeled--which I think is a good exception. Nareek 03:23, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

A similar debate was over if the article should be called Oscars or Academy Awards. // Liftarn

Similar, but I'd say with this crucial difference: unlike "Nobel Prize in Economics", neither "Oscars" nor "Academy Awards" might mislead the reader as to these awards' origin. Regards, David Kernow (talk) 19:02, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Responding a little late, but I think there's an important difference here. Names such as "Patriot Act" include points of view--but it's clear that it *is* a point of view. No reasonable person would look at the name of the Patriot Act article and conclude that it is a fact that the act is patriotic--because we recognize that a claim that something is patriotic is not about facts.
There's a difference between a name coming with a POV and a name coming with factual implications. "Patriot Act" comes with a POV but no factual implications. "Nobel Prize in Economics" comes with factual implications that are not correct. Ken Arromdee 16:48, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

The problem I have with the "what the majority of English speakers" argument is that it usually means "What North America calls it". When a subject filters through the naming system and fails to find an applicable naming convention, it arrives on the doorstep of "what the majority of English speakers call it" this can, and did, cause an article to be titled with its North American name, even though every country in The World called it by a single different name. And the North American name wasn't even the name it had been given in its country of origin, the North American name was one that was made up due to trademark problem with the original name.
It's not an easy problem to solve I know, perhaps one way is by adding more naming conventions so that subjects will meet the criteria for one of them before they get to the catch all of "what the majority..." - X201 12:42, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

It is the sad fact that a large majority of native English speakers live in North America. As for what native speakers of other languages call things, presumably that's reflected in the titles of articles for the Wikipedias of those languages. Nareek 13:37, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, to make point clearer. This object was know by the same name to all English speakers in the World who were not North American. It was also know by that name in the language of all the different countries it was sold in. One name in multiple countries and languages and the majority of the English speaking world, and the article was given a title that the majority of the World didn't know it by.
But also the "There's more of us" argument excludes Australian and British English and indeed any other form of English where the article in question is know by a different name in North America. Will everything of non-North American English origin be listed in the Wiki with its North American English equivalent? - X201 15:01, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Military Installations & WP:Naming Conventions

More and more I am coming across US military installations that have been moved from their original (and proper) names to names that reflect their designation as a "census designated place". This is an inncorrect way to name such installations, they should always be refered by their military designated name. An independent section or article can be created for the sole purpose of noting demographic and/or geographic information. I would encourage those responsible for the maintence of the naming convention to adopt such a policy forthwith, in order to prevent a mass migration of correctly named military installation articles to incorrectly named articles. TomStar81 (Talk) 20:25, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Actually, by WP:NAME, the proper name is not the one designated by the military or by the Census, but by the public as a whole. I assume that in many cases this will be the name the military gave it. Nareek 20:29, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) A point of clarification. Most of the census designated places articles were created very early on in Wikipedia by a bot using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. While there may have been subsequent moves in a few cases, most of these article were created before there were any article on the military bases. You may be confusing redirects with moves. But that is neither here nor there as far as your point regarding what the article titles should be. Do you have any specific examples in mind? olderwiser 20:33, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
That may be true, but same people have been actively moving military bases from there existing articles to articles that reflect there designation as a census designated place (look at Fort Hood and Fort Bliss). Thats why I bring this up, so that the next time someone moves a military base page I can say with certainty that it was a moved incorrectly. TomStar81 (Talk) 20:51, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
It seems like less a naming issue that a controversy about what the article should be about--the military base or the local area of the same name, with the base included as a prominent feature of the area. It's possible that the best solution is to have two separate articles, one on the base and one on the area. Otherwise you have to give precedence to either the military history project or the project that's listing all local areas. Nareek 21:19, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree that active military installations should be named with the current name, rather than the pseudo-city-like name of the CDP. For decommissioned bases, it probably depends on whether a distinct community remains with the same name after the closure or if the assets are assimilated into the surrounding community. olderwiser 22:01, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
If the base is decomissioned I would say it should retain its name, since a decomissioned based can still be reactivated when and if such a time arrives. I agree with both Nareek and Bkonrads (ie:older ≠ wiser) comments, but I would like to see this taken a step further and actually stated as a rule/regulation/guideline. Personally, I think that the sensus information could fit neatly into one section in the article, but even if we adopt the two seperate article set up I would be happy. I just want these bases to stop cropping up with state names attached to there titles. TomStar81 (Talk) 02:00, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Well, perhaps decommissioned is not the right term -- I was thinking of those bases for which the assets are returned to the local authorities. For example, there was an AFB in northern suburbs of Chicago (I forget the name), which was planned to become a combination of park, commercial district and residential housing. And there is Kincheloe, Michigan, which was a military base with several names and is now a relatively thriving community. Those could not be reactivated without extraordinary efforts. olderwiser 02:14, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
U.S. census-designated places should always be one of the last criteria to look to in determining the name of a place. In most cases, the Census Bureau isn't doing the naming, just using an existing name, though the census's geographical scope might not agree with someone else's. Just because a whole lot of articles were given Census Bureau names because a bot created articles for all that census information, that doesn't mean it couldn't be changed to a more appropriate name with the redirect remaining behind from the CDP name. Gene Nygaard 21:00, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
And quite frequently the CDP arises from a misunderstanding of the local geography; for example, they do not recognize NJ townships as incorporated places, and carve random sections out of them. Lincroft, New Jersey is an actual neighborhood to which they have set arbitrary bounds; Princeton North, New Jersey is a figment. Septentrionalis 21:18, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes, the Census Bureau was very inconsistent and irregular in the way it set up its enumeration districts from state to state. As a consequence we have 1618 Wikipedia articles of not very significant value in Category:Townships in Minnesota and almost nothing about townships in any state west of there. I worked for them in the last census; most of our enumeration districts were multi-township (but not generally following township lines even) without being given any names, and not given Wikipedia articles. All incorporated cities in the state (even those with fewer than 10 people) were counted as a separate enumeration district, but only a couple of military installations and a handful of unincorporated towns were named CDPs. Gene Nygaard 23:03, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
I just moved Fort Hood and cleaned up the intro to refocus on the subject of the article. Using the installation name also makes the way this article appears in the categories more accurate. Vegaswikian 21:45, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
I can't see why it is anything to worry about, whether it is at Fort Hood, Texas or Fort Hood. Being a military base doesn't mean it isn't in Texas. I'd suggest that in any similar case where disambiguation is needed, the current disambiguation works just fine and should be kept. Gene Nygaard 23:31, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
The issue with many of these is not disambiguation. It is the name for an installation that happens to have later been designated as a CDP. Since the main focus is the installation, that should be the name. The CDP designation can be used for the dab, but it might be better to use something like Fort Hood (Texas) rather then Fort Hood, Texas so that it appears in the categories as a military installation and does not look like a city. Vegaswikian 02:43, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
Another editor pointed out another issue. The base and the CDP may not cover the same area. So by definition, both names could be wrong for the combined article. Maybe the best solution is to use the base name and mention the CDP. Then have an article for the CDP, the mentions the base as containing the information about the area. The CDP article would only address the census data. This would also solve other problems where the CDP does not line up with a facality or place or governmental division. Vegaswikian 05:27, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
For many concerns, a military installation isn't any different from any other city. They still need to provide water and streets and fire protection and all that stuff, for example.
So, what are you, omniscient? The bot-created articles don't include a precise map of the boundaries of the census districts, do they? What about the current "city limits" over which the city government has jurisdiction—got that filed away, too? And what those legal boundaries include vary a lot from jurisdiction, with some jurisdictions large chunks of uninhabited areas in city limits and others not legally including anything near what the general usage of that name includes. In any case, our articles about cities and towns and the like are never strictly limited to the exact legal boundaries they encompass, except in very rare situations such as the City of London article.
Precisely how much variation between the precise census district boundaries, the precise legal city limits, and the boundaries in the everyday usage of residents in the area and people far outside the area are we going to allow, anyway? Getting too carried away with this notion could lead to a whole lot more unnecessary squabbles. Significant, known variations should be mentioned, but usually should not necessitate a separate article.
In the extremely isolated cases where it might make some difference, I'm sure something can be worked out on a case-by-case basis without a whole lot of instruction creep about it. Gene Nygaard 11:55, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
As long as each one can be addressed on a local basis and we are not forced to use the CDP for the article name, and can put the CDP in its own article if appropiate, I have no problem. Vegaswikian 19:25, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Capitalisation in other languages

The article shows how to write album and single titles in English, but what's the deal with other languages? Like French and Spanish. I've read somewhere on wikipedia (I know it's vague, but I can't seem to find the page where I read it) that of Spanish and French titles, the first letter of the first word should be capitalized and or all other words in the title, the first letter should be in lower case. Now before I continue using that "rule", I wanted a confirmation if it's true or not. If it's not true, I shall revert the titles into capital letters again. -- Luigi-ish 09:43, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

By the way, I am talking about articles like "Tu amor" (Spanish) and "Parle-moi" (French). -- Luigi-ish 09:45, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:France-related topics notice board#Titles of works of art is maybe what you were looking for (for French - maybe something similar exists for Spanish) - remark the word "chaotic" in that description. Anyway, for French the capitalisation rules (for books, works of arts, and many other topics) are different from those in English. And the situation is further complicated by loan words, for example a French expression can be adopted in English (so that you'll find it in English dictionaries), but with a different capitalisation:

So, I suppose a two-step approach could be:

  • Check whether or not a French expression has been adopted in English as a "loan word": if it is, follow English capitalisation rules.
  • If the French expression is "untranslated" (not a loan word), follow French capitalisation practice. Maybe there are some "rules" for French (I'm not too certain about that, I thought it was something like: capitalise "nouns" in the expression that taken as a whole is a proper name, and in addition to that always capitalise the first word of the expression even if it is not a noun), but anyhow for many works of art the capitalisation practice can be derived from the original publication, e.g. the captalisation of the title of a French novel can usually be derived from how it was published.

Of course for Spanish, German, and whatever language usually written in Latin alphabet the same (or something similar) would apply.

I added Wikipedia:Naming conventions (capitalization)#Capitalization of expressions borrowed from other languages as a tentative way to describe that in a guideline. Feel free to improve! --Francis Schonken 10:58, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

Thank you. But I still don't really know how to act with the Spanish singles. Should it be "Tu Amor" of "Tu amor"? -- Luigi-ish 20:12, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

I think we should follow English capitalization rules. But, as you point out, while some articles do that, many others do not, and many have been moved from one form to the other (which in this case is a good thing, because otherwise many of those redirects which be there wouldn't have been made). So I'd suggest that every time you run across one of these, you move it from what it is now to the other form.
Even more clearly when it comes to indexing these articles in categories, I think we should ignore inital articles (grammar) a, an, and the as the English words, but index articles from foreign languages like any other word. For example, Das Boot should be indexed under "D" under "D" rather than under "B". Gene Nygaard 12:06, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Telephone area codes.

There are rather a few articles currently names like Area code 201, which displays regional bias. But there's currently little consensus over what they should be renamed to in order to avoid this. I've set up a poll at Talk:North_American_Numbering_Plan#Article_name_changes, and would welcome comments on the options discussed there. JulesH 08:39, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Dashes in article names

Please see Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dashes)#Clarification re dashes separating surnames in page names for a naming convention responsibility for which this page has explicitly deferred to WP:MOSDASH ("For use of hyphens, dashes and hair spaces in page names, see Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dashes)."). It would be best to keep the discussion together in one place there, but since it is a naming convention issue it needs mention here. Gene Nygaard 14:05, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Proposal for articles on events and activities

This discussion started on Wikipedia talk:Naming conflict. I am moving it here as this seems Wikipedia:Naming conventions seems to be a more appropriate place. Some further background discussion is at Wikipedia talk:Naming conflict Kla'quot 08:52, 9 October 2006 (UTC)


Wikipedia talk:Naming conflict currently says, to use "the most commonly used term in English." It also says to "choose a descriptive name for an article that does not carry POV implications." The page not seem to directly address cases where these guidelines conflict, i.e. when the most prevalent term used to describe a topic happens to carry a POV implication.

A recent example of a conflict between these two guidelines was the debate over the naming of Deir Yassin massacre. In two recent ArbCom cases, the committee indicated (with some dissent) that the commonly used term should take precedence [3],[4]. Arbitrator SimonP noted that, "The project page seems contradictory on this matter." Should the article be clarified to make a preference for common terms explicit? Kla'quot 08:33, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

See also: Wikipedia:Words_to_avoid#Article_title and Wikipedia:WikiProject_Military_history#Naming_conventions. Kla'quot 08:52, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Guidelines for controversial events

These guidelines apply in to events and activities, such as military conflicts and terrorist incidents:


  1. If there is a particular common name for the event, it should be used even if it implies a controversial point of view.
  2. If there is no common name for the event, and there is a generally accepted word to describe the event, the title should include the word even if it is a strong one such as "massacre" or "genocide" or "war crime". (Added Oct 8): However, to keep article names short, avoid including more words than are necessary to identify the event. For example, the adjective "terrorist" is usually not needed.
  3. If there is no common name for the event and no generally accepted descriptive word, use a descriptive name that does not carry POV implications.

Definitions: A common name or standing expression exists if most English speakers who are aware of the topic call it the same thing. Slight variations on the name, such as changes in word order, count as the same common name. For example, World War II is often called the Second World War; they are close enough to be condsidered variations of the same common name.

A generally accepted word on how to describe the event means there is consensus on the applicability of the word amongst scholars in the real world. The use of a strong word may still be controversial among politicians, Wikipedia editors, or the general public.

Regardless of which rule applies, there may still be different points of view of how to characterize the event, and some of these points of view may be contrary to the title. These points of view should be discussed in the article. By longstanding tradition, Wikipedia article names are not expected to fairly represent all points of view.


  • My Lai massacre: This is a common name, and scholars generally agree that a massacre took place. Rule #1 applies, and rule #2 would give the same result.
  • War on terrorism: This is a common name, so it should be used even though many people consider it to be propagandistic. Rule #1 applies.
  • Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse: "Torture" was a controversial word here. There is no common name, so rule #1 does not apply. There is general scholarly agreement that torture has taken place, so rule #2 kicks in.
  • Darfur conflict: The term "Darfur genocide" is used, but is not common enough to constitute a common name, so rule #1 does not apply. Many people consider the conflict to be a genocide, however there is no general scholarly agreement on this yet, so rule #2 does not apply. Hence rule #3 applies, and "conflict" is used instead of "genocide."
  • (Added Oct 8): September 11, 2001 attacks: A debate here concluded that there was no common name for the event. Scholars agree that the events were acts of terrorism, however adding the word "terrorist" to the title would have given it more words than necessary to identify the event.

Note that rule #2 is not stated anywhere, as far as I know. I think it's implicitly followed in many, many articles though. The definitions I gave can be further debated and refined, I'm sure.

I'm going to put a note on Wikipedia talk:Words to avoid and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history asking for comment here. Kla'quot 18:55, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Well, this seems to match up pretty well with what WP:MILHIST has been recommending already:

Articles should generally have titles like Battle of Gettysburg or Siege of Nuremberg, since "battle" and "siege" are neutral terms that are preferred to "attack", "slaughter", "massacre", or "raid". Other names can be used, however, if they are the most common ways to refer to the battle (so Attack on Pearl Harbor and Doolittle Raid are acceptable titles).

Unless I'm missing something obvious, this is just a formalization of the relationship between the "most common name" rule and other principles, no? Or is there some major change in naming that would occur in practice? Kirill Lokshin 19:30, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
What I'm not suggesting is not radically different from what's already in WP:MILHIST. However, instead of "other names can be used if they are the most common ways," I am saying that other names should be used if they are the most common ways. I'm also saying that "massacre" can be used if scholars agree that that's what happened, even if there is no common name for the event. Kla'quot 07:28, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Regarding your question on whether there would be a major change in naming in practice: Great question, and the answer is no. I cannot think of a single current article that would be renamed if we adopt the proposed guidelines. I'm trying to clarify the guidelines for future debates (or debates I haven't heard of) over article titles. Kla'quot 07:28, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
That seems sensible enough, then. Kirill Lokshin 11:14, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
This proposal seems to be quite reasonable, and is mainly a codification of what is already common practice. A very similar debate was the long argument about whether the 9/11 article should have the word "terrorist" in the title. - SimonP 18:14, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Kirill and Simon. Good point about September 11. I'll add to rule #2 that "To keep article names short, avoid including more words than are necessary to identify the event. For example, even if there is scholarly consensus that an event was an act of terrorism, the adjective "terrorist" is usually not needed." Kla'quot 07:29, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Codifying the existing practice is a good idea, and so is avoiding unnecessary extra terms and loaded words. Use "battle" or "attack" rather than "massacre" and such. >Radiant< 11:05, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Radiant, I'm not sure what you're saying. Current practice is to use the word "massacre" if there is scholarly consensus that there was one. See List of massacres for many examples. Are you disagreeing with proposed rule #2? Kla'quot 16:47, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
The proposal seems to have consensus, so I have moved it to the project pages. Kla'quot 07:02, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

In this respect: one I've wondered about for a while: the Disaster of Annual: probably the most common name, but clearly one that takes sides. - Jmabel | Talk 05:25, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

This definition of "common name" is unacceptable. According to the interpretation of it that Ragib is currently giving at Talk:The Indian Rebellion of 1857, the First Battle of Bull Run does not have a common name, because the north used Bull Run and the South Manassas, meaning that we have to construct a neutral name as an alternative. This seems clearly wrong. A common name is simply the most commonly used name in English. It doesn't have to be the only commonly used name in English - otherwise this policy is a license for creating lots of articles with titles made up by wikipedia. john k 22:45, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

I see your point. It makes sense to me that if there are several names that are equally free of loaded words, the most common one should prevail. That could easily go between rules 1 and 2. Would adding this statement fix the problem? Also, do you mind if we copy this discussion over to Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (events) so it's in one place? Kla'quot


The nutshell is a direct copy of the second paragraph. The nutshell is a direct copy of the second paragraph. Repeating the same thing twice is not very useful. Repeating the same thing twice is not very useful. >Radiant< 22:26, 9 October 2006 (UTC) >Radiant< 22:26, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

  • chuckle chuckle I agree with Radiant! Johntex\talk 22:36, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
If the second paragraph is just a direct copy of this big, honking, bolded box, then delete the damn second paragraph.
Apparently somebody felt a big bold box was important, as long-standing as that has been a feature of this page.
But, it is very common in magazines and the like to set off important information in a box that repeats the very wording of the article itself. There's a word for this--help, anyone? It escapes me now. Gene Nygaard 23:11, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
Pull-quote. That's the word I was trying to think of. Gene Nygaard 23:17, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
  • It's a little bit more complicated than that. Earlier this year, some user decided to put 'nutshell' tags on all policy and guideline pages. His first effort was undone by people who didn't like them or felt they were misrepresenting several pages. His second effort was not, mainly because it passed below the radar and in part the initial opposers were on wikibreak. At any rate, it is the effort of a single person and has not really been discussed anywhere. At present, there is a discussion between some people who like all nutshells, some who dislike all of them, and a middle group (including me) who decides upon shells on an individual basis depending on what they say and how useful it is. In this particular case, repeating information twice isn't useful, and the header paragraph text is part of the pageflow and it was there first. >Radiant< 08:04, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
A big, bold box with a cute picture of a nut on it right at the top of the page was "under the radar" for eight and a half months? I guess there isn't much point in paying any attention to this page, then.
Where is this "discussion" you mention? Why didn't you refer to it when you deleted the box from this page? Gene Nygaard 13:00, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Excuse me for not having flaming feelings, neither pro nor contra, the nutshell issue.
@Radiant: please keep the general discussion on whether or not to have policy nutshells to template talk:policy in a nutshell or whatever other more appropriate page than the talk page of an *individual* policy. Really, how many people initiated the nutshell idea, and how many were on holiday during its second implementation, etc, are of no relevance to the naming conventions policy page. Similarly (@Gene:) the graphical layout of the template is something to be discussed at template talk:policy in a nutshell, and not here. BTW, I don't like the nutshell image, but as said, if I don't put that comment on the general discussion page of the template, that's not an opinion you'd have to take account of.
For the naming conventions policy page: I see no relevance in the fact of whether or not the nutshell formulation is a copy of something found somewhere else on the page. Corollary: if that "somewhere else on the page" is the intro then there's still no relevance as far as I'm concerned. What I see as "relevant" regarding the nutshell info is whether or not it is a good summary of the policy (somewhat in an "executive summary" kind of way). I think the recently removed nutshell was a good summary in that sense. While there is, thus far, no consensus on removing that nutshell, I put it back, until this talk page discussion shows otherwise.
I'd say: convince me (and some other wikipedians)... --Francis Schonken 14:13, 10 October 2006 (UTC) - updated 14:57, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
  • You seem to believe that one must discuss changes to a page before making them; that is incorrect. I am not talking about nutshells in general, but this one in specific. My point is simply that stating the exact same text twice on the same page is not useful. My point is simply that stating the exact same text twice on the same page is not useful. >Radiant< 14:34, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Re. "You seem to believe that one must discuss changes to a page before making them" - for non-trivial changes to policy pages: yes. It's in the {{policy}} template: "[...] ensure that your revision reflects consensus". There's no rule that "consensus" has to be established by discussion, e.g. typo correction, that far you're right. But if there is a discussion, and it shows lack of consensus, like the present one, the policy page is kept as it was.
Re. "My point is [...]", well, whatever your point is, edit warring is a suboptimal tactic for convincing me of your point. Repeating exactly the same text twice on the same webpage can be useful. It is my contention that that is the case for this nutshell on the naming conventions policy page. --Francis Schonken 14:57, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
  • I wasn't edit warring, I was putting up a compromise by deleting the second part, as Gene suggested above (I note that Gene has now reverted my implementation of his suggestion). Could either of you please make a good argument for having the same text on the page twice, because so far all of your objections have been against process rather than content. >Radiant< 15:02, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Radiant!, you have by your last edit reinforced my original point that if there is duplication that needs to be removed, either of two could be removed. So now you understand that, too.
Only problem is, there is no consensus that there is duplication in need of being removed.
No, you don't have to seek consensus before making changes. But when your changes are disputed and under discussion, it is standard to revert to a long-standing version while those discussions take place. Gene Nygaard 15:19, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Yes, and please give me a good argument why repeating the same things twice is useful? You seem to not have a problem with the version I changed to, but with the fact that I changed something. >Radiant< 15:23, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Re. "content" arguments: Gene's "pull-quote" argument was on content. It's about the same as what I tried to say with the "executive summary" argument. I see Wikipedia doesn't have an article on executive summary yet, yeah, sorry, that argument then might have missed its mark. I think about nutshells something in this vein: if someone only passes 5 seconds on this page (...maybe looking for something else, or alternatively, wanting to know the overarching principle behind the many naming conventions pages...), what's the bare minimum one should know about the topic on this policy page? Or, to put it otherwise, when one makes a Wikipedia:List of policies type of page: how does one summarize each of the policies?
In the case of the naming conventions policy page I think it's safe to repeat the second paragraph of the intro then. If you have a better proposal for how to summarize this policy in a nutshell, I'm all ears... --Francis Schonken 15:29, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Position titles

Perhaps I missed it somewhere on the WP:NAME page, but I am unable to find any guideline regarding position titles. Nor is there a standard among articles of this sort. Position titles can be used in both lowercase and uppercase manners. For example, George W. Bush could say he is a president or the President. This follows for many positions which are generic: Vice-presidents, CEOs, and RAs. I have found, upon reviewing these other articles, that there doesn't seem to be a Wikipedia standard for position titles. CEO is a lowercase article while Secretary of State is capitalized, and both refer not to one specific position (such as President of the United States), but rather a generic position held by many people. I suppose either way is satisfactory, but I think a standard needs to be set. --Noetic Sage 01:11, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Try this page Capitalization Gnangarra 12:34, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Most relevant there is the link to Wikipedia:Manual of Style (capital letters).
However, there isn't always uniformity in the rules. If attempts to standardize according to the MoS run into opposition, specific consideration of the issue in here in naming conventions areas should be done, as it was in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (fauna) where many of the differences in opinion were over capitalization of common names of plants and animals, and the naming conventions page actually defers to various WikiProject pages when they have considered it. Gene Nygaard 13:17, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
See Talk:prime minister for a related debate. I think that Secretary of State should probably be secretary of state. Who wants to propose the move ? -- Beardo 18:21, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

I do believe that, since there is a debate on the other article, we should develop a guideline on this so it is more uniform. I think the lowercase generic title makes the most sense. -- Noetic Sage 07:13, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

Naming question

Are the articles in Category:Streets in Dallas at any sort of accepted standard? --NE2 10:57, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

  • No, they're not. Slashes (subpages) are strongly frowned upon. >Radiant< 14:22, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Voting on guidelines

I would like to request assistance at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (television), where a few editors are insisting that (1) Guidelines are policy; (2) That Guidelines should be voted on; and (3) That majority rules. I've been trying to point out things like Wikipedia:Consensus and WP:VIE and Wikipedia:Guideline, but I'm getting overwhelmed, and, since I'm in the "minority," I'm being accused of bad faith. Could someone else who understands the way that things are supposed to work, please come in? I'm not asking for help in deciding the issue, but we do need help in clarifying the process. Thanks, --Elonka 23:19, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

That is not at all what is going on. When requesting comments please try to be neutral. "Could someone else who understands the way that things are supposed to work, please come in?" Yeah, I'd call stuff like that bad faith. -- Ned Scott 03:11, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Using disambiguation to make groups of articles consistent

There's a RfC discussion over on the talk page for television naming conventions regarding the use of disambiguation in episode articles. (discussion can be found at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (television)#RfC Episode Article Naming conventions)

The issue concerns whether or not adding disambiguation into the titles of episode articles (so having the articles titled "nameofepisdoe (nameofseries)" instead of just "nameofepisode") when the title of the episode needs no disambiguation is appropriate.

The discussion's currently grinding to a halt, with people not agreeing on whether or not to have the disambiguation, and whether or not certain TV series should be exempt from the rule if their governing wikiproject decides so.

Some more input into the discussion would be really appreciated. If anyone here's interested, please come over and join in.

(note: this is referring to the same discussion as "Voting on guidelines" above, but it is a request for people to come and help with the issue.) --`/aksha 01:56, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Is there something elsewhere in WP policy that recommends not using disambiguation when it's not necessary? I thought I saw someone mention it, but can't find it. --Milo H Minderbinder 15:28, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
(Side remark:) I'm not too surprised that added-qualifiers-not-needed-for-disambiguation lead to elaborate discussion. I was in such discussion a long time ago (see Category talk:Dialogues of Plato/Archive01). Seems like wikipedians' feelings haven't changed too much on such issues.
@Milo: some specific naming conventions guidelines contain such indications, for example Wikipedia:Naming conventions (people)#Qualifier between brackets or parentheses; Wikipedia:Naming conventions (books)#Precision. None of these apply to the television series issue (not even the rationales given in these guidelines). Note that for instance Wikipedia:Naming conventions (ships) does recommend to always add the ship type abbreviation to the page name, even if not needed for disambiguation (so, for instance, M/S Herald of Free Enterprise instead of simply Herald of Free Enterprise). So, sorry, you'll have to find out for yourselves which rules (if any) you want to inscribe in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (television). The basis for such decision would usually be given by wikipedia:naming conventions (common names) and wikipedia:naming conventions (precision)... and notably, which of these two you'd think "dominant" over the other. Another path is organising a few WP:RMs (or even a "combined" WP:RM). The sysop concluding the vote will always take a decision whether the article(s) move or not. If still problematic, next steps are rather to expected from wikipedia:dispute resolution, than from inferring rules from other naming conventions guidelines (which are inconclusive in this stage). --Francis Schonken 16:06, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Francis. We did have an RM at Talk:Fire + Water, which came back with no consensus, I think at least partially because of a limited participation. We're trying to hammer something new out at Wikipedia_talk:Naming conventions (television). I'd very much appreciate your input if you'd like to swing by.  :) --Elonka 08:02, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Over and over, attempts to impose specific naming conventions that violate the more general and widely accepted conventions (WP:NC, WP:NC(CN), WP:D, etc.), prove to create more problems than they solve. If the most common name used for the subject of an article has no known ambiguity issues, then it should be the name of the article, period. How well-known the subject of the article is irrelevant. The purpose of the article title is to give an appropriate unique tag to the subject. Categorization is the purpose of categories, not titles. How about making this Wikipedia policy? --Serge 16:50, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

I think the statement in bold is a great way of putting it. It seems like some people either feel that is the policy or at least should be. Seems like something worth proposing and seeing what consensus is on it. --Milo H Minderbinder 18:22, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

I'd like to get a bit more input before proposing anything, but here is a list of cons against predisambiguation (or preemptive disambiguation) - this was lifted and generalized from the section on Naming conventions for TV episodes:

  1. Con: Rather than just clarifying the general naming convention, directly contradicts it
  2. Con: Clutters the article namespace with unnecessary disambiguations
  3. Con: Confuses users who wonder what other subjects that are equally or more notable than this one have this title because it is disambiguated
  4. Con: Muddies the semantics of the article namespace with arbitrary additional attributes for a certain class of articles
  5. Con: Makes Wikipedia less consistent overall by increasing the complexity of the article naming conventions

--Serge 17:11, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Semi-protectoin proposal

I've noticed this hasn't been noted here yet: It has been proposed that this official policy be semi-protected on a continuous basis. See Wikipedia:Semi-protecting policy pages to help reach a consensus on what to do. -- Ned Scott 05:45, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Oppose. What problem would this solve? --Serge 17:13, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Proposal for naming rivers

A river should be named its common name as:

Stillwater River
-- except where there are others with the same name. In that case, it should contain its mouth as:
Stillwater River (Nashua River)
-- except where that is not unique. It that case, the mouth of the river in its mouth should be part of the name:
Stillwater River (Nashua River (Merrimack River))
  • Many rivers in the US are presently named as "River Name (State)." This won't work for rivers in other countries. It is time to create a convention that we can all use. Note that the mouth of a river is often not another river, but a water body such as a bay, ocean, lake, etc. Using the above definition should uniquely identify a river anywhere on the planet. -- LymanSchool 13:15, 17 November 2006 (UTC)<cr>

I don't like the double parenthesis in your example above. I think a better solution would be: "Stillwater River (Merrimack River)" or "Stillwater River (Merrimack River, Nashua River)". I'm also not sure that a strict set of rules are required. It's probably enough to decide things on a case-by-case basis, although a recommendation that rivers in need of disambiguation (where it cannot be done by political boundaries) be named after the location of their out-flows could perhaps be incorporated somewhere. --Stemonitis 13:22, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I'm not too happy with the nested parentheses. Also, "Stillwater river (Nashua river)" sounds self-contradictory; it may be better to disambiguate per state or country, e.g. "Stillwater river (Djelibeybi)" and "Stillwater river (Howondaland)". (Radiant) 13:31, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:WikiProject Rivers and Wikipedia:Naming conventions (landforms), where there has been discussion of this sort of issue previously. I also dislike the nested parentheses. And I don't really see any problem with using a political entity for disambiguation, where appropriate. Using the tributary system isn't very helpful when dealing with mutliply ambiguous entities and when many of those entities are relatively unfamiliar. olderwiser 14:30, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

I strongly agree that a river (and any article in Wikipedia) should be named by its common name only when there is no ambiguity issue. However, when there is an ambiguity, I think how it is disambiguated must be treated on a case-by-case basis, depending on the particular name conflicts in each relevant context. For example, if the river name conflicts only with a city, the disambiguator for the river should be simply (river) (and the disambiguator for the city should be simply (city)). If the conflict is with another river with the same name, then the disambiguator should be geographic, like the state or region in which each river lies. The idea of a standard convention for disambiguating a class of subjects consistently is inherently conflicted with the need to be able to disambiguate in each case based on what the particular conflicts are. It also leads to the expectation that all subjects within that class should be named according to the standard disambiguation format, even when disambiguation is not required. See WP:NAME:CITY and WP:TV-NC for examples of the chronic problems that occur when that happens... Please, don't try to go there with rivers! --Serge 18:46, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

There are also cases of disambiguating phrases that are standard in popular usage, such as the fact that one of the variety of rivers named the Red River is popularly called the Red River of the North when ambiguity may arise. Michael Hardy 21:29, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

I strongly prefer to use the state type disambiguation for rivers in the U.S. It is extremely helpful in letting you know what river you are talking about. Also, people often do not know the name of the parent river. In addition, there are a ton of rivers with the same name in the U.S. and many of them do not have parents (a few have parents of the same name if I remember correctly), so we would be back with the state disambiguation for them. The state disambiguation works very well for the U.S., although I wish people would freakin' stop naming rivers "Bear River". Finally, other countries can do similar things. For example, they can name the rivers after the country, if there is only one in that country and more in other countries, or they can name it after the state, province, county, local government area or any other subdivision they have. However, if other countries want to use a tributary/parent naming system, they can go for it. I hate inconsistency, so that is how useful I think it is. -- Kjkolb 23:00, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

It is a common mistake to extend the function of disambiguation to being informational for the reader - that is not the purpose of the title. The title of an article is supposed to simply uniquely identify the subject of the article with the name that is most commonly used to refer to that subject. If that alone does not inform the reader as to what the article is about, it does not matter. If they're at the article, the article content is supposed to tell them that. If they're at another page, the context around the link to the article is supposed to tell them that. Extending the function of titles to be informational as to the content of the article is choosing a road paved with good intentions, however... --Serge 23:37, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, the title is just a title, an address for links to point to, etc. -- Ned Scott 23:59, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Native versus anglicized people names

There has been lots of arguing over "diacritics are not English" and therefore do not belong in English-language titles of the English Wikipedia. However, English usage in current reference appears to favor the original name syntax over the various past transliterations (speaking more specifically of Eastern European Latin-scripted languages). I propose that for articles regarding people of Eastern European origins, use of their Latin-scripted diacriticalized ("native") syntax name be adopted for article titles as well. It's just too confusing to stick one thing in the title and then use something else once you've explained what the person's real name is. Please see the diacritics discussion Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (standard letters with diacritics)#Technology, not "it's not English," is why diacritics were historically stripped in English for why the current policy of anglicizing titles reflects a technology restriction, not a choice made on linguistics. —Pēters J. Vecrumba 21:25, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (geographic names) is near completion

It would appear we have a consensus that this naming onvention has gained wide acceptance of involved participants and should be promoted to an official guideline. Comments, as always, appreciated. Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  18:48, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Football in Australia

During the past few months, there have been many heated discussions about the naming of football-related articles in Australia. It has mostly all settled down now, but we get the occasional new user questioning things, so I wanted to formalise what was decided so that there was somewhere to point people to when they asked about it. I have written up User:Chuq/Football in Australia and am hoping to gain consensus to mark it as an official policy (at at least, an official guideline!). Anyone have a problem with me moving it to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Football in Australia)? -- Chuq 11:06, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

You should check your page thoroughly before you submit it for something like this; for instance, disambiguating gridiron. - Samsara (talkcontribs) 11:08, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Well the point of listing it was to get some peer review happening, in order to find errors such as that. What is the official procedure from here? -- Chuq 10:27, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
No answer.. and we are still getting new users questioning things - so I have been bold, moved it to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Football in Australia) and marked it as a proposal. I'm about to add it to the proposed conventions list and inform relevant WikiProjects. -- Chuq 10:21, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Correct article title question

The name of the film is this: "She Shoulda Said 'No!'". The actual title includes the quotes. Where should the eventual article reside? --badlydrawnjeff talk 00:55, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Any reason not to put it at She Shoulda Said 'No!'? I would recommend a redirect from the same without the quotes and possibly without the exclamation point. (Radiant) 12:48, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Names with Nonstandard Characters

I refer to a interesting discussing discussion in Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Anime_and_manga#What_should_the_standard_be_for_translating_non-standard_characters?. This discussion is on how we deal with non-alphanumeric characters (in this case, ♪, ☆ or ★) that are in Unicode and used in titles of manga. Should they appear as the name of the article? Please give your opinions over there.--Samuel Curtis-- TALK 12:34, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Ukrainization of Ukrainians

There is a war going on between Russian and Ukrainian version for various names. The most notorious example were Kiev v. Kyyiv (Russian version is winning), Chernigov v. Chernihiv (Ukrainian version is winning). I believe there should have been discussion on this somewhere but I could not locate it yet. I would like to draw your attention to people names, Vasyl v. Vasily (see Ivanchuk), Aleksandr v. Oleksandr (see Dovzhenko), Andrey v. Andriy, etc. What is Wikipedia policy here?(Igny))

I would start at WP:UE for policy guidelines. AndrewRT(Talk) 22:56, 27 November 2006 (UTC)


I posted a couple months ago with no response. For the past few years, there has been debate over whether the church in question should be titled the "Roman Catholic Church" or simply the "Catholic Church", and whether wikipedia should use one of those terms exclusively. There has been no consensus to support the latter, and a weak consensus to support RCC as the main title of the article. There are good arguments on both sides of the debate, and there are specific situations were one or the other makes more sense. However, there are editors with strong POV who feel that the correct and proper title of this church is of the utmost theological importance. These editors tend to randomly go through articles and change RCC to CC or vice versa (which often leads to reverts, edit wars, and debate on half a dozen talk pages). To avoid these sort of situations, a few editors (after the last major vote on this issue) came up with a disclaimer that discourages users from editing for the sole purpose of changing the name of this church without prior consensus. I wanted to get this into the naming conventions but as I said, I received no feedback here back in september. Can I just create a section and import out 'disclaimer' text to this page? Is this a good idea, is there another process that I am not following?--Andrew c 22:38, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

I have a similar problem at the moment with Republic of Macedonia vs. FYROM. My suggestion is that we need a general rule here rather than something too specific that would cover all cases like this. For instance, Where there is a conflict over naming, reference to the subject in other articles should reflect the name used for the article . Could something like this be added to the nutshell?? AndrewRT(Talk) 23:03, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I'd support RCC over CC to specify it over other Greek Orthodox-related CCs. Zz414 23:39, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
I like the idea of having a more general rule something like "Some controversial names have failed to reach consensus to prefer one name over the other. In these rare instances, wikipedia accepts the use of BOTH names, and editing between one or the other name without prior discussion and consensus is forbidden. Changes should generally be discouraged, and discussed on a case by case if necessary. Examples of this are Roman Catholic Church vs. Catholic Church; AD/BC vs. CE/BCE; Republic of Macedonia vs. FYROM; etc". I'd definately support that. I would just like to see something concreate that says "Hey, this name is controversial, so don't edit wikipedia for the sole purpose of changing one controversial name to another controversial name." only in more technical terms.--Andrew c 00:13, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
It's a little hard to understand the Western notion of accepting the name placed by the enemy. Many American Indian tribes have historical names that are the result of European explorers or colonials first encountering a tribe that was the enemy of another tribe, so the name translates in the first tribe's language as "other" or "outsider" or "enemy." There has been a decided academic trend against this for at least the past 30 years, that is, of maintaining the enemy's designation for a tribe. Orthodox-related CCs? You mean like the Byzantine Catholic Church? Or the Greek Orthodox Church? The former is Catholic, the latter is, well, it's also the "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church." The Byzantine Church is a Catholic Church, spiritually one with the Pope, but under its own rites otherwise. Catholic Church as a whole refers to the Western and Eastern Catholic Churches. "Roman Catholic" can also be used to distinguish the rite or the church of the Latin Church, (the Western Catholic Church) versus that of the Eastern Catholic Church, so if the article is titled, "Roman Catholic Church," it should include a disambiguation page and link to the page that explains the Roman Catholic Church versus the various individual churches that form the Eastern Catholic Churches. Again, togther they form the Catholic Church. Sorry to bore anyone if this was already discussed, as I assume it has, but it doesn't seem to have impacted anything. KP Botany 00:37, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
I'd really prefer not to rehash the pros and cons for each name, but instead discuss a general policy point that would urge editors to respect existing names, and discourage editing for the sole purpose of changing what name an article uses. For example back in June, we had an editor who went around removing the word "Roman" from Catholic related articles. Now, we have an editor using AWB to add the word "Roman" to the link Catholic Church because it is a redirect page. I feel both of these actions only lead to edit warring and big discussions that have yet to result in any clear consensus either way. I support using both terms, and I (and other editors) just want something in the naming conventions that mentions this. I'd rather not get into the specifics regarding why RCC or CC is the superior term.--Andrew c 02:11, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, but then you wind up with things like what some call the Roman Catholic Church, or the Latin Rite Catholic Church Wikipedia calls the Latin Rite, and you can't actually get to the Latin Rite page via typing in Roman Catholic Church because they both redirect to the Roman Catholic Church, meaning the Catholic Church article .... Ultimately easy solutions to complex problems sometimes aren't easy. KP Botany 20:57, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
  • This appears to be one of those issues (like AD/CE or BrE/AmE) where forced standardization is more trouble than it's worth. It would be plausible to add this as an example to the naming conventions to state that both are acceptable (and edit warring over them is not). (Radiant) 09:28, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Exactly! --Andrew c 14:39, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

RfC new proposal regarding controversial names

This proposal has risen from the last vote in the endless RCC vs. CC debate (see Talk:Roman Catholic Church/Archive7 and User:Leinad-Z/RCC Disclaimer). Here is a proposed text. Please discuss. Suggested alterations are welcomed.

Controversial names
In a few cases of naming conflicts, editors have been unable to reach a strong consensus to support one name above another name. In these instances, Wikipedia allows the use of both names. The current title of a page is not intended to imply that either the title name is preferred or the alternative name is discouraged in the text of Wikipedia articles. The article title should also not be used as a precedent for the naming of any other articles in Wikipedia. Editors are strongly discouraged from editing for the sole purpose of changing one controversial name to another. The naming convention used by the earliest contributor takes precedent. Any effort to change between names should be examined on a case-by-case basis, and discussed on talk pages before making changes. However, rather than debating controversial names, please consider other ways you can improve the quality of articles in Wikipedia. An inconclusive list of controversial names: Roman Catholic Church vs. Catholic Church; BC/AD vs. BCE/CE; Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia vs. Republic of Macedonia vs. Macedonia.

Andrew c 23:50, 29 November 2006 (UTC)


  • It's rather verbose, could you maybe shorten it? (Radiant) 09:17, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
  • It lays undue stress on the earliest contributor; the earliest contributor may have been a POV crank. The other problem is that the usage of the earliest contributor can be hard to agree on; this is part of the yoghurt mess. I would prefer to say the last stable period (15 days? 90 days?) with the first contributor as a tie-break. Septentrionalis 21:50, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Standardisation of names of two-letter combination pages

Currently, about 90% of the various 2LC dab pages use upper case for both letters; the remaining 10% use upper then lower. I'd like to see this standardised to both upper - the current system encourages the accidental creation of parallel dab pages for the same combination, one UC/UC and the other UC/LC. It also makes for confusion within the alphabetical listing of articles within the category. Though I can understand some special cases being UC/LC, in the vast majority of cases I don't see any reason why there can't be some form of standardisation. The same could also obviously be done with the 3LAs, but one (smaller) step at a time... Any thoughts? Grutness...wha? 12:15, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Off-hand this looks like a good idea; perhaps we could establish that the {{2LC}} template shall be transcluded at the top of the page, and add something like This disambiguation page covers all alternative capitalizations to it. Just an idle thought. —Gennaro Prota•Talk 13:16, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Sound a reasonable idea but would it apply to dab pages where the main or lead item is itself not a double capital, for example Pi (disambiguation)? I suggest not. :)Abtract 13:26, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Hence my comment about "special cases" :) Grutness...wha? 21:17, 12 December 2006 (UTC)