Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style

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WikiProject Manual of Style
WikiProject icon This page falls within the scope of WikiProject Manual of Style, a drive to identify and address contradictions and redundancies, improve language, and coordinate the pages that form the MoS guidelines.

Commas and full stops (periods) inside or outside[edit]

The style given is just not being followed by WP editors and anyway is not the custom in the U.S. and Canada, so I was WP:Bold and simply deleted it. BeenAroundAWhile (talk) 23:54, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

For the record, BeenAroundAWhile, I reverted you because, while Wikipedia editors generally do not follow WP:Logical quotation, this subject has been repeatedly debated at this talk page and attempts to achieve WP:Consensus to remove that text have repeatedly failed. There should be WP:Consensus for its removal. Flyer22 (talk) 00:01, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Agree with the revert. Community consensus is established by discussion leading to guidelines, not by individual perception(s) of what's commonly done. ―Mandruss  00:06, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Agree with BeenAroundAWhile that WP:LQ needs to be replaced; disagree that "just be consistent" is enough instruction. The English language has two systems for dealing with this, and we should tell people how to use them correctly. WP:LQ is the single most challenged part of the MoS for good reason. As for consensus, 1) The last RfC we had on this issue was written in a biased manner; 2) while a majority of participants said that we should use only British punctuation, the majority of sources said the opposite. Wikipedia's not a democracy. We're supposed to care more about what's verifiable than about what people happen to like. The MoS shouldn't have personal preferences up there as rules. There's no reason not to use ENGVAR for punctuation. Darkfrog24 (talk) 04:00, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Mandruss, if you're concerned about compliance and individual perception, we actually did check the last time this came up: [1]. Compliance with WP:LQ is pretty low. Darkfrog24 (talk) 04:06, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Darkfrog has campaigned for internal punctuation on the internet more widely, seeing it as a nationalistic issue. But she fails to account for the fact that it crosses the boundaries of national variety. Tony (talk) 05:23, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
1) Tony I have no idea what you're talking about, "campaigning widely on the internet"? When WP:LQ comes up, I support changing it. 2) Don't make claims about how I do and don't see things. The way I see this matter is that requiring people to do things incorrectly is really mean and makes the encyclopedia look unprofessional. In American English, leaving periods and commas outside closing quotation marks is wrong, just like how spelling "harbor" without the U is wrong in British English.
3) No it does not cross boundaries of international variety. We found one American source that required British, one. All of the others required American, a 16:1 ratio: [2] Darkfrog24 (talk) 11:22, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
That was a little unfair of me personally. Retracted. Tony (talk) 05:45, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Nevertheless, Darkfrog24, a sampling of articles says nothing about how many editors even know about the guideline. In my experience, even when an editor edits per MOS:LQ, they rarely bother linking to it in their editsum, so it appears they are just editing per their personal preference. This does nothing to educate other editors, and it's unwise to cite non-compliance to justify the elimination or modification of any guideline. ―Mandruss  05:29, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Compliance is high enough to keep LQ, for its precision. Editors like me regularly fix TQ when we encounter it. It's been this way for years. The sky has not fallen. A large proportion of MOS's guidance is expected to not be followed by casual editors, and implemented in cleanup by MOS gnomes; that's true of everything from date formats to spaces between measurements and unit symbols (and non-breaking ones at that), insertion of non-breaking spaces in various other cases, using the {{sic}} template, and on and on. "Not everyone does it" isn't a valid rationale against MOS recommending any particular best practice. Reversing it to a preference for typesetter's quotation (commas inside, sometimes referred to erroneously as "American style") would be a huge hit to accuracy and the precise parseability of quoted material, while not actually fixing anything. It would simply result in about as many non-North-American editors using the not-recommended style, as we presently have of North American editors doing so. Robbing Peter to pay Paul.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  08:37, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Mandruss, I wouldn't say it says nothing about how many people know about the guideline Since we can't read their minds, looking at what they do is a good indicator. I guess we could figure out a survey if we need to. SmC, "not everyone does it" might not be enough, but "only about 60% compliance, even in featured articles" is a little stronger than "not everyone."
SmC we're on the same page that Wikipedia shouldn't just flip it around and ban British and require American. That would be just as disrespectful of British editors and British English as the current situation is to American. ENGVAR is a proven policy. We should use that. Darkfrog24 (talk) 11:22, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
For cases where MOS:LQ is not observed, looking at what they do is an excellent indicator that one of the following is true: (1)(anarchy) They are aware of the guideline, disagree with it, and don't observe guidelines that they disagree with. (2)(apathy) They are aware of the guideline and don't feel it's worth worrying about one way or the other. (3)(ignorance) They are not aware of the guideline. It tells us absolutely nothing about which of the three is more or less common than the others. You're correct, we could conduct a survey, but we haven't yet, so we can't deduce anything at all from the degree of non-compliance. Instead of a survey, we might as well just run another RfC. Guidelines represent community consensus and they should be followed except in the rare case where there is good reason to deviate, as determined by local consensus—whether we agree with them or not. We !vote in RfCs, and we live with the results even when they don't go our way. That is the meaning of consensus. ―Mandruss  11:55, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, we don't know which of those reasons people use, but all three of them indicate that this isn't a great rule. Actually, per WP:NOTDEMOCRACY, no it's not about the votes, or at least it's not supposed to be. Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:40, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
We don't have any rules. Whilst the MoS is a guideline, no one is required to follow the MoS when they create an article. That was mentioned above. RGloucester 12:48, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Exactly. No one is REQUIRED to obey MOS when editing. It's not a WP:DE problem unless someone goes around preventing others from complying with it (e.g. by editing articles to remove compliant style). So of the three possible cases for non-compliance, #1 and #2 simply don't matter, while #3 we really can't do anything about. Everyone ignores something in MOS either because they hate it or just can't be bothered (more like 50+ "somethings"). Like all style guides, MOS has more details than any normal human will remember; it's a reference work for polishing stuff after it's written, not a list of stuff to comply with before you write. It is not a content policy.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  10:14, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
That is not true in practice. I wasn't preventing anyone from doing anything and got brought up on ANI solely for using American punctuation, in articles that were already using it. Darkfrog24 (talk) 14:48, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Were you actually punished? As with lawsuits, anyone can start a complaint at a noticeboard, but it doesn't mean it'll go their way.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  01:39, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Since the word "RfC" has come up, I'd like to say that if we do get to the point where we have one, we should engage a neutral third party, like a mediator, to work out the wording with us. Last time, there was a huge problem with finding middle ground. Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:40, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Darkfrog, you're on this warhorse at least once a year. Every time you ramp it up, and every time you don't succeed. It is pure disruption. Tony (talk) 14:09, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  • You mean a complete stranger challenges WP:LQ at least once a year and I say "you're right." Then I provide sources that back up the position. If you don't like that, you're on the wrong site. Stop acting like this is about me. Darkfrog24 (talk) 14:25, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
It is about you. Your forum shopping, canvassing, and circumvention of consensus has been made apparent many times in many contexts. If you keep this up, I'm sure someone will take you to AE. RGloucester 15:04, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
RG, lay off the personal attacks. For the umpteenth time, publicizing an RfC is not WP:CANVASSING. Creating a new proposal when an old one fails is not circumventing consensus. You have your way of interpreting the rules, but that doesn't mean I'm breaking them.
Everyone else, RG is talking about his proposal to create a style noticeboard, which I publicized on related talk pages—it may be relevant that I supported the proposal. He is also talking about my proposal to endorse the MoS for Q&A, which I made after the noticeboard proposal did not get approval. These things are not only allowed on Wikipedia but encouraged. I don't know where he's getting forum shopping.
Note that none of this has anything to do with BeenAround's changes to the MoS or with WP:LQ. We should keep it on that. Darkfrog24 (talk) 15:59, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, we should keep it on topic, and be mindful of the discretionary sanctions warning at the top of the page (which RG is close to transgressing by personalizing commentary and, ironically, making AE threats. I was just reading an AE thread regarding Gerda, and RG was warned very, very clearly about both battlegrounding and frivolous AE complaints, so should probably refrain from "going there". Anyone who would invite the hammer of admins, many of whom are not sympathetic to MOS/AT to get involved in punishing people for how they argue at WT:MOS is making a terrible, terrible mistake.
So, back to the topic: The fact is that LQ has been stable on WP for years and years and years. A few people don't like it, but there are probably zero line items in MOS that a few people don't like, so that indicates nothing at all. It works for WP, even if it's mostly made consistent incrementally and after-the-fact. The forum-shopping element to this (no matter who raises it) is "LQ is British, and the other way is American, so it's should be an ENGVAR matter." This has been discussed to death and beyond, and every single time it's conclusively proven to be false. Various British publications use typesetters' quotation, and various American ones use logical quotation. People can bring up this bogus ENGVAR argument 10,000 times per day, and it will never change this fact. LQ is used when precision is important, by all sorts of reputable publishers all over the world, more so, not less so, as time goes on. WP consensus is that precision is important in Wikipedia, and that LQ is helpful in this regard. As I say about twice a day, MOS is an internal style guide for how to write this encyclopedia, period, end of story. It is not a style guide for the whole world, so there are no WP:GREATWRONGS to right with regard to LQ on WP. This perennial noise about it is among the WP:DEADestHORSEs we have.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  10:14, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
It depends on what you mean by "stable," SmC. This think keeps getting challenged and not always for the same reason. Sometimes challengers cite lack of compliance, as here, but the fact is that it directly contradicts the overwhelming majority of the sources on correct English writing and many of Wikipedia's other polices, like WP:COMMONALITY and WP:V, and yes WP:ENGVAR. As of our last RfC on the subject, even with the biased initial wording, it was a lot more than a few people who thought it should be changed.
As for the "LQ is another name for British style" and "the current rule directly contradicts the rules of American English" those things have been proven true, not false: [3] [4] [5]. And those are just the sources that I had on hand. When did you think it was proven false? I'm not being rhetorical SmC. I want to understand why you think this. (And yes I've heard of your essay; it didn't help with this question much.) Darkfrog24 (talk) 14:46, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
If "lack of compliance" were a valid argument against any WP policies or guidelines, we would have no policies and guidelines left. So, it does not keep getting challenged for different reasons that actually matter, only one, which has also been debunked. Your selective citation to two things that agree with your nationalism on this topic doesn't undo years of prior debate proving that selective citation of this sort is misleading on this question, and that the nationalistic arguments are false. We have the MOS:REGISTER for a reason; see in particular MOS:REGISTER#Punctuation inside or outside. The idea that one style "is American" and the other "is British" has been exploded repeatedly. Your repeated pretense that this is not the case, and attempts to push anew an argument to this nationalistic effect that has already been debunked, is, I would wager, the principle reason that people make WP:NOTGETTINGIT and WP:FORUMSHOPPING allegations in your direction. If you look at RfCs and other discussions on the matter, the "more than a few people" against MOS recommending logical quotation almost uniformly do it on the same, false nationalistic basis. WP is neither a vote nor a democracy; consensus on this is not changing, since the rationale for undoing LQ on Wikipedia doesn't hold up to scrutiny, and no amount of drum-beating about it is going to change that. If we were actually going to entertain an ENGVAR argument about quotation marks, it would be use of single quotes in British English, long before we'd get to the LQ question. And we've been over that, too, many times, with the same result: The belief that single quotation mark style "is British" is simply false.
This all indicates clearly that continued fist-shaking debate about this is a pointless waste of time. Some minority of editors refuse for personal reasons to comply, and the rest of Wikipedia and the world couldn't care less. Feel free to IAR, and we'll just clean it up later. There is no impediment of any kind to your or anyone else's editing by MOS having line-items that a few people don't agree with. Every single point in MOS has people who don't agree with it, and who ignore it (there are plenty of MOS "rules" I don't bother with myself). This is absolutely inescapable because of what MOS is, a compromise between divergent rules that no one agrees about off-WP. We pick one or the other because one serves our readers' interests better, and having a "rule" results in fewer stupid style editwars.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  22:43, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

PS: I've updated MOS:REGISTER#LQ to include the last year or so of relevant discussions, and in the course of doing so, I noticed that it really is one editor predictably "on this warhorse". While sometimes other editors bring it up, they generally get an answer about why WP uses LQ, and move on. The distracting debates are generally always engendered by one editor, month after month, year after year. Someone above suggested that this qualifies as WP:Disruptive editing; it must surely be getting close. I note that WP:FORUMSHOP doesn't say anything about being the one who first started a thread, it just addresses repeatedly "raising essentially the same issue", in general terms. When mostly one editor is the source of "challenges", then "WP:LQ is the single most challenged part of the MoS", a claim made by that editor, is disingenuous. Cf. WP:FAITACCOMPLI, WP:POINT, and the fallacy of proof by assertion. (It's not even true anyway, despite that pattern of activism; MOS:CAPS/WP:NCCAPS lead to far more disputes, especially at WP:RM, because of the near-universal pattern of specialty sources uses capitalization as a form of emphasis or marker of terms of art, in a style not acceptable in general-audience works like WP.)  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  01:32, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

Thank you for taking the time to answer me, SmC. I'll try to keep my response organized.
SmC, I notice that you say "lack of 100% compliance is no reason to disregard WP:LQ," but then you immediately turn around and say, "because of a lack of 100% compliance, we must completely disregard the national split on punctuation." Yes The Guardian uses American style and the American Chemical Society uses British, but what this means is that there are exceptions, like a sign in Texas that says "Town Centre." It doesn't mean that "centre" isn't correct British spelling.
Can I say with confidence that when you say, "The national split has been debunked" you are referring to these exceptions/lack of 100% compliance? I am asking because I want to understand you when you speak. It's not anything else in addition to this that makes you believe the split isn't real?
There are several problems with your point #3: First, no it has not been proven that British style is "preferred by sources that value precision." Second, it has not been proven that that it would be desirable for Wikipedia to weight those sources more heavily. We write in an encyclopedic style for general audiences, so we should use general-audience rules. We do it for bird names; we should do it for punctuation. Third, in all the times we've debated this rule, no one has ever provided even one example of American punctuation causing even one error or misinterpretation on Wikipedia. You shouldn't claim that something happens when it doesn't. Fourth, I personally got called up on AN/I solely for using American punctuation, so no users are not free to IAR and contribute how they please, but the whole rules-vs-optional-guidelines thing is a separate issue affecting the whole MoS rather than WP:LQ alone.
Were you under the impression that I had only three sources that referred to these styles as British and American? Heavens no! Those are only the ones I had handy. There are far more! If anyone wants I can make a long list of them here, but they more or less line up with these: [6]. Darkfrog24 (talk) 13:48, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
If you think I am the only one who has repeatedly and energetically supported efforts to change WP:LQ, then you are reading the archive far too selectively. Darkfrog24 (talk) 00:47, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Re: "because of a lack of 100% compliance, we must completely disregard the national split on punctuation" – That's not even related to the argument for LQ, which is precision. The observation that plenty of (precision-focused) American publications use LQ, and plenty of (fiction and news style) British publications use TQ is simply a refutation of the claim that one "is American" and the other "is British". A refutation by party A of party B's argument against X is not necessarily party A's argument for X. And please note that it's been shown before that the LQ-like style of some British sources isn't always LQ, but just similar. British press sources have actually criticized WP's article on quotation marks for conflating the two! That's reliable sourcing that LQ isn't "British style". There are multiple, severable refutations – more than one thing debunks your nationalist premise; see the collapsebox above, and previous discussions. I'm not going to be drawn into another time-wasting regurgitation of all those details. Yes, it has been shown that even American sources increasingly use LQ for precision, and even the most conservative American style guide, Chicago, has finally admitted this. This all, too, has already been covered in detail. Not going to re-source it for you here. Of course WP weights precise sources over others when it comes to precision. All over the place we make the point that WP is not written in news style. And so on. We've been over all this before. So of course the nationalist split isn't real, for multiple reasons, and you've been shown this, by multiple editors many, many times. I'm skeptical that you really can't understand; this looks like an attempt to WP:WIN by a long game technique of just wearing and wearing away incessantly until you get what you want (your AN & ANI track record, see below, demonstrates this conclusively). That's the very definition of tendentiousness. I doubt your claim that no one's given examples of TQ causing errors or interpretation problems in article, but I'm not going to read through 18 miles of old debates to prove you wrong. This page doesn't exist for "sport debate", and I don't need to. Whether anyone has give you examples you'll accept is irrelevant. Our own examples in MOS already illustrate how it happens, and external reliable sources writing about quotation marks style also illustrate it clearly. If you really want, I'll be happy to save some examples from actual WP article for you next time I correct some of them, which is fairly often. But they really don't determine anything, and I won't go out of my way to do it, because you obviously won't be swayed no matter what. I don't need to find an actual, live-in-an-article example of something like "The Empire State Building is very tall" for us to have rules against that. The point of MOS rules is to prevent crap from happening. You can't try to invalidate a rule because it's been working and you can't find that particular bad crap happening right now!

"I got called up on AN/I"... Yeah, yeah, you've mentioned this at least three times on this page alone lately. It is irritating to get pilloried at a notice board; I understand. That should not be an entrenchment motivation. I do not believe your spin that it's just because you used TQ in some article. Let's go look. Here it is: Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive544#Darkfrog24: Tendentious contravention of MoS. No action was taken against you. So what's the issue? Anyone can make a complaint at ANI about anyone for any reason, stupid as some of those reasons may be (and WP:BOOMERANG helps curtail that). But the reasons weren't stupid. You were changing things to TQ. MOS was cited. You tried to change MOS to get your preference. That wasn't accepted, so you just went back to changing articles to TQ again because you felt like it, even knowing this wouldn't fly. You then acted surprised that you were at ANI. It concluded with "Resolved: Darkfrog24 said he'll stop." Have you? This relates also to Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/3RRArchive210#User:Darkfrog24 reported by User:Amadscientist (Result: Protected), which evidences the same pattern of not getting what you want because of a rule, trying to unilaterally get rid of the rule, not succeeding at that, and then going back to editwarring to get your way. The four Oathkeeper-related AN / ANI actions against you (some resulting in blocks) involve a similar pattern of recalcitrance, though don't seem to be style-related. This is clearly an editorial behavior issue, not a consensus problem, nor bad-rule problem. And you did not get ANI'd "solely for using American punctuation", but for imposing it on content that already existed with LQ. No one will ANI you if you go add new content and don't follow some MOS nit-pick. You're just not allowed to make content worse from a WP perspective by un-MOS-ing it. I'm running out of patience, just skipping to the end now: No one cares if you have 3 or 30 sources that say that TQ is called "American style". It only takes one fact to disprove that there's actually a national English variety split (like there is for color vs colour), and we have lots of facts disproving it. I think our text already says that it's sometimes called American style, so there is no point to press in that regard. PS: The "Town Centre in Texas" example is silly false equivalence. Things done for cutesy, old-time evocation are not comparable to editorial decisions publications make that govern their precision and reliability.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  02:39, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Let me see if I have this. Your position: "Because not all British publications use British style, said style is not really British." Please correct me if I am still not understanding you properly. My position: "Just because one or two British publications prefer American style does not mean that British style is not really British." Please ask for clarification if you still don't understand me. It is not that I didn't hear you. It's that I find the argument unconvincing. British style is also British because most British publications use it and because it was invented or at least popularized by two Brits (Fowler and Fowler in The King's English in 1906), and these are not the only things that make it British. American style is used by almost all American publications and required by almost all American rule books, so it's American. It is not that I was shown proof that the national split isn't real; it's that no such proof was shown. (NOTE: This does prove that usage isn't universal, which is certainly true.) However, sources have been offered to show that the split is real: [7]. Are you refusing to hear the message or do you just not agree?
If you're claiming that Wikipedia's current rule is neither British nor American, then we shouldn't be using it at all. I'd rather use correct British style than incorrect British style. In fact, a few months ago, we had a discussion about how to make WP:LQ more correct, and the changes were implemented.
You also have your facts wrong in a few places:
  • "American sources increasingly use LQ for precision" Nope. The American Bar Association used and then abandoned it.
  • "Even Chicago has admitted this" Nope again. The 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style continues to require American style in American English writing. The editor's take on the matter is here [8]; it's called a "writing and editing fashion," and they stipulate that British style is likely to be best for British English writing.
  • Yes I did get brought up on AN/I solely for using American punctuation. There were no edit wars. There were no (false, in the case of Oathkeeper) accusations of posting unsourced material. (The Oathkeeper mess is not relevant here. If you want to talk about that, see my talk page.) I found articles that were already using a mix of American and British punctuation and fixed them so that they were internally consistent—changing some to all American and others to all British. All of this was in keeping with the MoS's rule about internal consistency, which I supposed at the time would trump WP:LQ.
That's just it: WP:LQ doesn't work. It's routinely ignored, and even when articles do use British style, it offers no advantage. It's okay if British style feels better to you or appeals to your sense of logic, everyone has their personal preferences, but it doesn't do anything for us that American style doesn't do just as well. It's no better than a "cutesy old-time evocation," to use your words.
"No one cares if you have 3 or 30 sources that say that TQ is called 'American style'" And that's the real problem. Do you know how rare it is to see American style called anything but "American" anywhere but here? You call it "TQ" because that's the name you like. Even if you don't care that more sources call them "British" and "American," then from your perspective, I'm doing the same thing that you are, and you should not complain. Darkfrog24 (talk) 18:24, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

Sub-national varieties of English?[edit]

Are "sub-national" varieties of English, such as Scottish English or Southern American English acceptable as national varieties of English for use in articles?--Prisencolinensinainciusol (talk) 06:14, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

Scottish English is (see Template:Scottish English), but note that Scotland is sort-of a nation (albeit not independent). I don't think Southern AE is. -sche (talk) 06:22, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps Yorkshire dialect would be a better UK example. AlexTiefling (talk) 06:56, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Or perhaps this?
 :) --Guy Macon (talk) 07:34, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
I'd go with no. Most of what we're calling sub-national varieties in the U.S. are either incorrect standard English or easily mistaken for such. We want to be intelligible to any reader of English and appear professional while doing it. Darkfrog24 (talk) 13:15, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
As a Scot, there is no "Scottish English". Standard formal written English in Scotland is no different from standard formal written English in southern Britain. The standard variety should be the determination, not various sub-dialects or spoken slangs. RGloucester 15:17, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
There is no such thing as "standard" English. All that aside, how is written Southern American English different from other sub-dialects of American English? I don't think SAE even exists as a written dialect, does it? Would it not be exactly the same as American English? Dustin (talk) 15:56, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
There is a standard formal written British English, which is taught in schools. You are correct in saying that there is no standard written Southern American English. Formal written American English is the same, wherever one is in America. Likewise for British English, and other national varieties. RGloucester 16:11, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps I simply misunderstood? When you say standard, you are referring not to standard for the language as a whole, but standard for the United States and standard for the United Kingdom? On a side-note, that template above is categorizing this talk page in Category:Wikipedia articles that use Cockney Rhyming Slang. Dustin (talk) 16:15, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
That's correct. RGloucester 16:17, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
I just went to look up how to suppress the categorization, then I noticed that someone had already fixed it for me. it turns out that all you have to do is to add "nocat=true". --Guy Macon (talk) 00:18, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
So the formal sign pictured in the Scottish English article using 'outwith' instead of 'outside' is... what, exactly? Even in its most formal register, Scottish English has some notable differences from (Southern) English English. AlexTiefling (talk) 17:20, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
"Outwith" is a colloquialism, and does not belong in formal written English. British formal standard written English is unified. RGloucester 17:40, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
In a lot of cases, sub-national variants would use a lot of slang, which we seek to avoid. Also, god help us if we wrote articles in Newfoundland English. OR, more accurately, if we had spoken word versions of articles in it. /s Resolute 16:17, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
This is an encylopaedia. We write in formal written English, whether British, American, or Australia, &c. RGloucester 16:18, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
As long as it's comprehensible to a general audience, why no? Am I getting the feeling that we're fixing an unbroken cart? Jimp 17:43, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
The reason I'm bringing this up is because some of the logic behind WP:USPLACE uses the idea that representing cities etc. as "city, state" is somehow intrinsic to American English. I'm trying to see if this same logic can be applied to dialects of American English, such as the fact that a speaker of New England English would refer to Hartford, Connecticut as just "Hartford".--Prisencolinensinainciusol (talk) 18:26, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Spoken English is irrelevant. This is about formal written English. In formal written English, which does not imply a context (as Wikipedia does not), it would be unlikely that the city would be referred to as merely "Hartford" without giving further qualification, as other cities of the same name also exist. When we speak about English varieties, we do not mean whether a speaker says "Hartford" over "Hartford, Connecticut," in casual conversation because of proximity, but the differences in spelling and lexicon. RGloucester 18:37, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Formal written English in New England for other people in New England (for example a Connecticut state law) would refer to the city as just "Hartford". The reason I use this example is because Hartford automatically redirects to "Hartford, Connecticut" because consensus has determined that city is the most common use of the word.--Prisencolinensinainciusol (talk) 21:11, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
Again, we don't assume a context. Just because an article is written in American English or British English does not mean that we write the article only for Americans or Britons. It is merely a matter of orthography and lexicon. RGloucester 21:37, 11 June 2015 (UTC)
I largely agree with RG here, but I'd like to express it in a different way: The reason an article like that would say just "Hartford" is because it is written for New Englanders. Wikipedia's audience is much wider, so we must be more specific. Darkfrog24 (talk) 02:27, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
Yep.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  03:25, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

Dah language weh yuh proud a,
Weh yuh honour an respec –
Po Mas Charlie, yuh no know se
Dat it spring from dialec!

Kaldari (talk) 19:26, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

  • 1) See comments in next thread. These huge talk page banners are divisive and self-defeating. We should be using the unobtrusive alternative templates, like {{Use Canadian English}}, etc., not these fight-picking, in-yo'-face banners. 2) No, we don't need any for subnational varieties of English, and we already have too many for national varieties that are essentially patois/creoles and shouldn't be used in an international encyclopedia anyway. Agreed with RGloucester, there's no such thing as written Scottish English, at least not in a formal register; it's the same as the rest of written British English. This is probably true for WP purposes for the rest of Commonwealth English, aside from Canadian, which is an intergrade between British and American. We could probably reduce all of the "Use x English" templates to American, Canadian, Commonwealth, and Commonwealth (Oxford), redirecting all the rest, mostly to Commonwealth. Most of the time, we don't need to use any of these (see thread below) unless there have been editwars; where an article isn't seeing any issues other than date format "correction", the {{use dmy dates}} / {{use mdy dates}} templates are sufficient.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  03:34, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
FWIW, I agree that Wikipedia shouldn't be using sub-national dialects like Southern AE and Scottish. (The only distinctive feature of Scottish I've seen used in articles is "outwith", which is the sort of unnecessary, confusing dialectism which WP:COMMONALITY already advises us to avoid regardless of whether Scottish English "standards" are being used or not.) -sche (talk) 16:49, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
The suggestion to avoid "words [...] that are unnecessarily regional" seems to also cover "outwith". -sche (talk) 06:12, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
  • I believe there has been an unwritten acceptance of the notion that standard native English varieties are the norm in WP articles, unless there's a compelling reason to depart from the choice of one of them. Let's put aside any sniff of racism and say simply that our readership is international, and we need to maintain internationally understood forms. Tony (talk) 04:35, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Proposal to deprecate Template:English variant notice[edit]

I propose that {{English variant notice}} (see example usage just above – it creates huge banners on article talk page) be formally deprecated. Then replace with the unobtrusive versions (e.g. {{Use British English}}; these go at the top of the article and do not display anything). Then take {{english variant notice}} to WP:Templates for discussion and delete it.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  10:32, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

  • Support – This proposal would make things simpler and less combative. RGloucester 17:25, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support I could hardly agree more. They serve as an eyesore which does little other than arouse negative thoughts in editors which may result in arguments and combative behavior. I'm not going to say I can't flex in any way, but as it currently is, I think the benefits would outweigh the possible wetbacks with this proposal. Dustin (talk) 18:04, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Mixed opinion I think it helpful to have some sort of displayed notice at the top of an article that alerts readers to the fact that an article is using a particular National Variation ... but I also agree that such a notice should be unobtrusive and discrete. I am thinking of something more like a hat-note. The current banner is rather large and ugly. Blueboar (talk) 18:35, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
    • That would be a major change, unlike either of the current template types. One silently adds a category (and sits in source code as an editors' notice at article top, or where ever someone moves it) in the article, the other is a big talk page banner. Neither insert content like a hatnote into the article, which supposes that there's an interest in telling readers the article is written in a particular English dialect. Where's the consensus to do that?  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  06:47, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Already listed on the article page with the above said template. I'm not really convinced that talk page notification is required or useful to conversation. I actually think the Use British English and Date Format templates should be placed at the bottom of the page, as most people well-trained enough to read through the template code will know the score, and to novice users who might benefit from it it's just more template waffle – a better approach would be for these templates to populate somewhere as an editnotice. I think {{EngvarB}} is worth deprecating as well, as superseded by those templates. SFB 19:28, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
EngvarB seems to be used by some script. Not sure it relates to this stuff. It seems only to mean "no North-Americanisms found as of the date this was added".  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  06:47, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
I oppose the "editnotice" approach, as this is even more "in one's face" than the talk page templates, and strikes the tone of WP:OWN. I can only see use for editnotices in cases where there has been repeated wrangling over WP:ENGVAR, not for general use. RGloucester 00:44, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Agreed, especially colored edit notices. They look like some kind of error message.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  06:47, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
If the notices were only there to tell article editors which variation of English to use, I could understand the idea of placing the notice to the talk page, or as a hidden note... but its not. It's also there to be informative for readers of the article, so they understand why the article uses the vocabulary and spelling it uses. Something has to be on the actual article page, and not hidden away. It does not have to be a great big honking in-your-face banner... but it has to be viewable by the reader. Blueboar (talk) 01:46, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
I believe that the only purpose of the templates is to tell editors what variation to use. Readers do not require such notes. In fact, dragging the readership into this nonsense is the last thing we should be doing. RGloucester 02:01, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
I concur. Ir can't be the case that they're for readers, since neither class of template shows anything to readers. And I don't believe the community would agree to labeling articles as one dialect or other other in a reader-facing way in the article. It's probably been proposed and rejected before.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  06:47, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Support I think these templates go well beyond a simple editing notice into marking territory territory. Timrollpickering (talk) 12:35, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Varieties of English templates[edit]

When I'm mindless I do spelling correction. While doing that one has to figure out the endemic English to set/reset expectations. It occurred to me that, having figured that out, I could 'stamp' the article with the found variation. The only discussion regarding appropriateness I've found so far (I must suppose there've been others) was When to use talk page language templates from 2009, and which seemed to slide towards 'meh...'.

What is the operative (determined before now) stance on whether 'stamping' unstamped articles is

  • okay
  • worth it (i.e. avoids trouble later)

I'm not much invested in either yea or nay. Shenme (talk) 05:21, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

There's already a whole family of un-obtrusive templates for this; they sit silently in the wikicode at the top of the page, and categorize the article into, e.g. Category:Use British English. Adding them programmatically seems like a lot of effort for little gain, and is likely to start disputes instead of prevent them. I wouldn't add one unless there's been editwarring over ENGVAR-relevant spelling/style, and a first-major-contributor (or talk page consensus) ENGVAR is undeniable, and there are no rational reasons to change the ENGVAR (e.g. there is one when BrEng is used to write about an intrinsically American topic, or whatever). I.e., if you're absolutely certain what the proper ENGVAR is, and there have been problems, then tag the page, e.g. with Template:Use British English or whatever template from that family is most useful. The talk page banner templates for this sort of thing are divisive, WP:OWNy, and should probably be WP:TFD'd. People who come to an article's talk page to discuss how to improve an article don't need a message box in their face about a dispute they probably WP:DGAF about, especially since it tends to beg the question, and inspire people to think about whether they agree with the ENGVAR chosen, leading to more debate instead of less. The idea in the thread above to add even more of these things for subnational dialects is worse than impractical.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  03:19, 13 June 2015 (UTC)
I strongly agree with SM, here. I think we need to establish specific demarcations for these templates, and also to proscribe "sub-national varieties of English" templates. I'd say that they should only ever be used if there has been a particular and long-running dispute over the variety used at a given page. The likes of {{Use American English}} or {{Use British English}} are much more useful for merely "marking" the variety used in a given article. The talk page templates, on the other hand, are largely redundant and cause various problems. RGloucester 01:29, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the less intrusive the better. Tony (talk) 04:36, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Ah, from SMcCandlish's remark I looked at a likely example, Tea, and indeed there is a {{Use British English|date=January 2014}} at the top of page. I think that is what I was seeing done by some editors, and somehow thought it was the talk page thing. Thank you for the pointer. A follow-on question, and related to RGloucester's comment, should that template be used on India-related articles, where the article is obviously using the carried over English? Shenme (talk) 05:45, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Cool, but we do actually have big talk page banners, that look just like the joke Cockney one above. I mean to TfD those, not the unobtrusive ones. Re: India – there's a separate Indian English one. I'm skeptical about it, since I don't think there's a real difference between Indian and British/Commonwealth English, in an Encyclopedic register. We're not supposed to write in colloquial dialect. So, I'm not sure I would want to pick and fight over whether the tea article should have the British English template. The article text itself probably wouldn't change, but tempers would.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  07:00, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
See template deprecation proposal, one thread above this.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  10:33, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
In my experience the Indian English template comes up disproportionately in articles with titling disputes. Although this relates to titling rather than content I feel it has the same effects. In recent years a number of Indian cities and other geographical landmarks have been renamed in English and this brings numerous disputes and RMs over whether the article should use the name commonly used in English in India or whether it should be the older name that is still used a lot in the wider world, often complicated by people trying to dismiss the validity of English used in India in a way that a renamed place in, say, Australia would never draw. At times it feels the template is deployed as a counter to this and an assertion of ties.
(And the proper names arguments have implications for content elsewhere - e.g. the names used in list.) Timrollpickering (talk) 11:07, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Living vs. deceased trans people[edit]

A reference to BLP is made in the paragraph in this project on how do deal with trans people. This implies that it applies only to living trans people, and that deceased trans people should be referred to with the terms consistent with most reliable sources. This would mean that we can currently use Chelsea Manning, but that if, after she dies, at least 90% of all reliable sources revert to using the name Bradley (with the only event that cannot pre-date her death is the dis-establishment of Wikipedia,) Wikipedia should revert to the name Bradley. Any correction to what I'm saying?? Georgia guy (talk) 14:51, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

As with any name change, IF a significant majority of sources written after her death revert back to calling her "Bradley"... then, yes, BLP would no longer apply and we would follow the sources per WP:COMMONNAME. However, that "if" is a very unlikely scenario. I would not worry about it unless it actually happens. Blueboar (talk) 15:23, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Now, does WP:COMMONNAME refer to objects or to people?? Georgia guy (talk) 15:43, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I think I see the key term here: "after her death." That seems to be what people are overlooking. Assume that currently more sources say "Bradley" than "Chelsea," but because of BLP, we say "Chelsea" and "she." Now assume that Manning has died this minute.
  1. Do we use the name-gender used by the preponderance of reliable sources, which would in this case mean reverting to Bradley-he?
  2. Do we use the name-gender used by the preponderance of only those reliable sources written after Manning's death?
Specifying that it's #2 and not #1 would solve the problem.
WP:COMMONNAME definitely does refer to both objects and people. The trans naming issue is an exception, though I note that the policy doesn't specifically say so. Darkfrog24 (talk) 16:19, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Wait, why would we look at only sources written after Manning's death if Manning died? It seems clear to me why we would — and did, in the discussion about moving the article — focus on sources written after Manning's transition: namely, it's trivially obvious that sources from before then all uniformly use "Bradley" (we don't have to look at them because we already know what name they use). But even if BLP were acting as a sort of "trump card" and leading us to use "Chelsea" without regard to common usage (which is not what happened: in fact, the giant RM determined that common usage was "Chelsea" and that "Chelsea" better accorded with BLP, IDENTITY, etc), why would Manning's death cause us to stop including sources from during her post-transition lifetime in our calculation of what her most common name was? (One could even argue that sources from her whole life, including her pre-transition life, should be considered in the weighting.) -sche (talk) 18:30, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
If we're to use a cutoff, post-transition does make more sense. Before that, sources couldn't use the post-transition identity even if they wanted to. Darkfrog24 (talk) 18:48, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
For clarification on why death is involved here, the key statement is that the L in BLP stands for living, which points towards the idea that deceased transgender people should simply be referred to by the most commonly used name. Georgia guy (talk) 18:55, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
I think post-transition is an obvious cut off, living or dead. That should agree with sources, but in some cases the sources are trying to stick with a their own views on the transgenderism, failing to recognize the subject's clear intent. However, going back in time, to say that Chelsea did the things Bradley was arrested for, rewrites historical fact. Now in jail, any future events, it is Chelsea. I have been saying all along we have a good precedent in voluntary name changes already. Cassius Clay went through a transition. He was Cassius X for a while. Some racist papers (our sources) at the time deliberately chose not to recognize the announced change to Muhammed Ali. But we have contravening sources. That is all reporting we should do. But there was no dispute as to his name when he won the gold medal or even when he defeated Liston. There is a clear timeline of events available in sources. We have people making accusations that the sources deliberately misgendered Jenner in 1976 or even in during the Kardashian era starting in 2007, using this MOS as an excuse, Caitlyn or transgendering was never mentioned until 2015. We have a clear date. Trackinfo (talk) 19:40, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Additionally, within the subject's article, there is due a perfectly valid paragraph, or section regarding their transition and how long in life they had these feelings. It just should not affect the existing, known, public history. Trackinfo (talk) 19:44, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
  • OK... I am going to once again ask that we mentally separate the issue of NAME from the issue of GENDER. Let me address the issue of NAME first. I will start by explaining how we deal with name changes for everyone other than a trans-gendered person (saving the debate about why we treat trans-gendered people differently for some other venue). When the subject of an article changes his or her name, we don't rush out and immediately change the article title (or every reference to the person in other articles) ... we wait to see what the sources do... paying attention to the sources that are published after the name change took place (The reason we pay attention to those published after the name change - and thus ignore sources published before the name change - is that the older sources automatically become outdated as soon as the change is announced. They can't reflect the change even if they wanted to)
Most of the time the sources will begin to reflect the new name very quickly... sometimes it takes longer... and occasionally the sources actually reject the new name completely and continue to use the old name. Wikipedia follows the source usage... which means most of the time Wikipedia will change it's article title soon after the name change is announced... but sometimes it takes longer... and occasionally we continue to use the old name.
OK... Now, suppose we set all the politics and angst about gender identification to one side, and adopted the exact same standard for trans-gender people that we do for everyone else. What would happen? Exactly the same thing. Most of the time, the sources (and by extension Wikipedia) will start to call the person by the new name very quickly... Sometimes it will take a bit more time. And occasionally it won't happen at all.
What happened with Manning and Jenner are actually good examples... As it turned out, an overwhelming majority of sources reflected Manning's desired change from "Bradley" to "Chelsea" within a few days of when it was announced. The same occurred with Jenner's change from "Bruce" to "Caitlin". Our article titles would have changed, even if we had not had all the debates about them. Looking at more recent sources, it is clear that the sources continue to refer to Manning as "Chelsea", and Jenner as "Caitlin"... so (to get back to the question that started this), there is no reason to think that the sources will suddenly reverse course and go back to "Bradley" or "Bruce". Sure, it could happen, but I doubt it will happen. And unless it does happen, our article will remain at Chelsea.
So much for NAME changes... GENDER change (ie the pronoun issue) is a different issue. That is where BLP comes into play. Like it or not, there is a consensus of the community to respect the wishes of a living person on all sorts of sensitive issues... gender identification is just one of them. There is also a consensus that we don't have to be as respectful once the person dies. Once the person dies, we follow source usage... and we won't know how what that will be until the person dies. Will sources continue to treat Manning and Jenner as female after they die? Probably... but there is an outside chance that they won't. We won't know until it happens, and will just have to wait and see. Blueboar (talk) 21:01, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Is there a problem with linking to both WP:SELFPUB and WP:BLPSELFPUB?[edit]

I proposed to link to both the WP:SELFPUB and WP:BLPSELFPUB policy sections, as they seem relevant in a paragraph on self-designation (not only the name, notably the content of these policy sections).

In the discussion above I see nobody opposing the insertion of these links, only a question on how it applies.

FYI, WP:SELFPUB and WP:BLPSELFPUB have the same content (check it out), so when a person with a gender that "might be questioned" (as the MoS has it) dies, no effects are anticipated.

For a general policy discussion on what happens (and when it happens) when a person "stops to be a BLP", see WP:BDP. If questions, this talk page is hardly the place to sort it out, WP:BLPN or WT:BLP seem more appropriate places to find out how it works in particular circumstances, or point to issues with the current policy, respectively. --Francis Schonken (talk) 08:36, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

In the diff you link to ([9]), you did considerably more than add links to SELFPUB and BLPSELFPUB: you also fundamentally changed nature of the paragraph from operating as "An exception to" other guidelines, to being confined "Within the contours of" the two above-named, not-very-relevant pages. You also dropped "even when usage by reliable sources indicates otherwise", which is a key piece of the guideline that has stood the test of past discussions. (You express the point of view, on WP:VPP, that it conflicts with policy, but in the numerous other RFCs which have been held on MOS:ID, that point of view has never persuaded very many people.) I oppose all of those changes (and see no consensus for them, either above, in WP:VPP, or in previous discussions). I am also not convinced that it is necessary or good to add links to SELFPUB and BLPSELFPUB at all. Has a subject who was notable enough to have an article ever expressed in a self-published source that they were trans, and not had that announcement subsequently covered by other sources? If not, this seems like a solution in search of a problem that doesn't exist. I anticipate that it would mostly just cause trouble because certain people would argue over whether a particular person's coming out was "unduly self-serving" or "an exceptional claim", and would bicker about "reasonable doubt as to its authenticity". (I can even see people arguing over whether someone's coming out "involve[s] claims about third parties", given the debate in the Jenner article's talk page over whether her coming out says anything about her wife's sexuality.) In the unlikely event that a notable person does make a reasonably-doubtable claim to be trans, surely we can invoke those selfpub policies without them being specifically noted in the MOS by name. -sche (talk) 09:06, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
The other part (removing infringement of policy) is discussed at WP:VPP#Unilateral changes to MOS:IDENTITY. The BLP link I added is discussed here. I claim no policy reason to add these suggested links to the MoS, so, afaik, only subject to consensus on this page. --Francis Schonken (talk) 09:13, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

Unilateral rewriting of MOS:IDENTITY[edit]

A user has unilaterally rewritten MOS:IDENTITY in the midst of an ongoing, unclosed RFC. Rather than get into an edit war, I have started a subsection on the topic in the as-of-yet still unclosed RFC. -sche (talk) 18:10, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Was this sudden change with consensus? And there are a few things I don't like about the text that has survived: "isn't", the shift from "Wikipedia should" to a direct command "[you] use ...", and "the term that person or group". Tony (talk) 09:28, 26 June 2015 (UTC) [relocated from the wrong section. Tony (talk) 09:38, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
That particular diff doesn't show a change in terminology (except that "to the above" was changed to "to the previous point"). It shows one bullet point split into two. Did you mean something else? Maybe this Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:45, 26 June 2015 (UTC)


Should the use of euphemisms be restricted in wikipedia articles?-WikiTryHardDieHard (talk) 22:39, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

@WikiTryHardDieHard: Yes. See WP:EUPHEMISM. EvergreenFir (talk) Please {{re}} 22:47, 23 June 2015 (UTC)
Great. Thanks.-WikiTryHardDieHard (talk) 22:49, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Indefinite article before "hypothesis"[edit]

The choice of indefinite article ("a" or "an") before "hypothesis" is being discussed at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Language#An hypothesis (version of 19:23, 26 June 2015).
Wavelength (talk) 19:51, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Large RM on decapitalization[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Talk:Lindy Hop#Requested moves of the remaining inconsistent dance-related articles, 27 June 2015  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  17:35, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

Quotes and archaic / obsolete spellings[edit]

I recently ran across a spelling correction of a quote that used obsolete spellings. The original quote is "The originall or primary colours are Red, yellow, Green, Blew, & a violet purple; together with Orang, Indico, & an indefinite varietie of intermediate gradations." See scan of writing, or transcription. The quote currently is a mixture of the original spellings: originall, and varietie; and modern spellings: blue for blew, Orange for Orang, Indigo for Indico. I've been considering changing the spelling to the original, but not sure if using older forms of words might be a hinderance to the reader. Suggestions? PaleAqua (talk) 06:18, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

WP:SPELLING has a section on archaic spellings. Keep the original, archaic spelling within the quote. Per WP:QUOTE, archaic glyphs are to be modernized even within quotes, but archaic spellings are not. Darkfrog24 (talk) 11:33, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. PaleAqua (talk) 15:13, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

WP:SHE for steam locomotives as well as ships[edit]

It's recognised that there is a long tradition of regarding ships as "she", and this is echoed (usually) at Wikipedia. It is not always enforced, particularly for male-named ships, but it is recognised.

This tradition is also applied to steam locomotives. Perhaps not quite so widely, as even more named locomotives have an implicit male gender. However it is still commonplace. We also have a source for this right back to the start of their history. At the 1830 opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, actress and diarist Fanny Kemble gives us this well-known letter,

We should extend WP:SHE to cover locomotives, where appropriate, as well as ships. This is to clarify reversions such as this, obviously one I wouldn't support. Andy Dingley (talk) 20:00, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Can you show that this use of "she" has continued into modern times in non-specialist publications (that it is not only steam engine enthusiasts who use "she")? A Google search for "style guide"+"ship as she" produces many relevant results but "style guide"+"steam engine as she" produces none. Widening my search to "style guide"+"engine as she" (no "steam") gave only one relevant site, a hobby magazine site, which only mentions pronouns in passing and at first glance may not meet Wikipedia's WP:RS standards. Do you know of any style guides that say to use "she" or any formally published books that do?
For the particular diff that you cited, Redrose was actually reverting a categorical change from "it" to "she," putting the article back the way it was. Even if we extended WP:SHE to steam locomotives, that would only mean that Wikipedia would have two acceptable practices, so it is Redrose's version that would stand because it was there first. Darkfrog24 (talk) 21:39, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) maintains their own style guide, as does the Australian Railway Historical Society. Neither mentions the gender of locomotives, suggesting that this convention isn't even widely used by specialists. Pburka (talk) 23:47, 29 June 2015 (UTC)